Leclerc Brands Monaco Race ‘a freaking disaster’ After Finishing P4

While Charles Leclerc made his first trip to the chequered flag in Monaco for the first time in his Formula 1 career, he was left frustrated after facing a confusing strategy call from Ferrari.

With heavy rainfall delaying the start of the race proper, Leclerc led away from teammate Carlos Sainz in the early phase, then pitted on Lap 18 to go from wet tires to intermediates.

But with Sainz then being brought in for dry hard tires three laps later, Leclerc was initially called in as well – only to be told to stay out by his team, despite needing four seconds longer in the pits than his Spaniard teammate did overall.

This double-stacked both cars and saw Leclerc fall to P4 behind eventual winner Sergio Perez, Sainz, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull – with the Monegasque calling on Ferrari to “get better” if they want him to fight for this year’s title.

“No words – the season is long, but we cannot do that,” said Leclerc over team radio on his cool-down lap, Team Principal Mattia Binotto quickly agreeing. But for Leclerc, there weren’t enough cool-down laps in the world to contain his wrath as he faced the media after the race.

“It was a freaking disaster today,” fumed Leclerc, who had pulled a 5s lead over Sainz in the race’s early stages. “The win was clearly in our hands: we had the performance and everything. I just don’t understand the call I had, and I need explanations for now.

“I couldn’t do much, I was called just before the last corner, so I couldn’t react or ask for any information, but that was clearly the wrong choice… We need to get better.”

Despite Leclerc having had a sizeable pause during a red-flag period caused by Mick Schumacher’s heavy crash into the Piscine barriers, the Monegasque revealed that he had “used the in-between time just to calm myself down – because as you may have seen, I was pretty angry.”

To cap it all, Leclerc finishing behind Verstappen, saw the Dutchman increase his title lead by three points to nine – with Leclerc’s first-ever finish at home in any racing series in his career set to do little to alleviate his dark mood this evening.

 

Written by John N

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