Cat causes panic at Ferrari

Charles Leclerc’s attempts to warn about a feline intrusion in Azerbaijan led to some confusion over the team radio over the true meaning of his message.

As Charles Leclerc was racing round Azerbaijan, he attempted to communicate to his team that a cat was wandering around the circuit, potentially causing a hazard to drivers and the feline.

The moment came as Leclerc was preparing for the safety car restart after an incident saw Yuki Tsunoda lose his wheel, costing the AlphaTauri driver a shot at a second points finish of the year. 

With the Ferrari having suffered from reliability issues this season, which saw Leclerc suffer a DNF in Bahrain, the team in the garage thought Leclerc was warning of a cut or other problem with the car’s power unit.

When speaking to the media after the race, Leclerc clarified that he was actually talking about a cat that was meandering around the streets of Baku.

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Asked if Ferrari could be in trouble on Sunday due to its apparent technical issues, Leclerc said it was “absolutely not” the case. “I said a cat, which is different.”

“There was a cat in the middle of the road and the Safety Car had to stop, but I think I was probably the only one who saw that.  

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“But yeah, out of Turn 1 there was a cat and the Safety Car braked. It wasn’t too bad, but I felt like I had to say it!”

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Leclerc has enjoyed the weekend so far around Baku, scoring his highest finish of the season with P2 in the sprint race, as well as securing two pole positions in both the Saturday event and Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Ferrari are in need of a strong race weekend, as the team finds itself stuck in P4 in the Constructors’ battle, with Leclerc having experienced two DNFs in the first three races of the season and a pointless outing for Carlos Sainz in Australia.