Charles Leclerc after Mattia Binotto axed: ‘I’m not a driver who criticises harshly in public’

Charles Leclerc was criticised during the 2022 season for being "too honest" after making a mistake.

It has been a rollercoaster of a season for Ferrari, with the side having seemingly experienced everything in 2022.

Many will likely have forgotten how perfectly the season started for the Maranello-based outfit, with Charles Leclerc having claimed two wins from the first three races of the season.

Ferrari left the Australian Grand Prix on an exceptional high, likely not felt by the Scuderia since 2018.

Everything turned sour incredibly fast, though, with the Italians having endured an onslaught of issues.

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Driver errors, reliability problems, and strategic blunders left Ferrari red in the face, as they had to watch Red Bull and Max Verstappen storm to both World Championships.

The mood in the Italian camp quickly turned negative, despite Mattia Binotto’s best efforts at keeping the ship steady.

It’s clearly all become too much for the team principal, whose resignation was accepted by Ferrari president John Elkann.

Reflecting on the season, Leclerc was asked if his side were criticised more than others, with the Monegasque insisting that he’s “not interested” in what the media have to say about the famous side.

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“I don’t know,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“But I don’t care about that either.

“We shouldn’t care about what others think. Our job is to think about where we can improve. That’s pretty clear.

“We have to implement what’s in the car and what’s in us on race Sundays. We need to improve our performance and how we handle the races.

“Whether it’s more in the media than reality, I don’t know. But I’m not interested either.”

Leclerc added, though, that actually the team could be more critical of their errors, something there has been plenty of.

The 24-year-old has lost several victories in 2022 as a result of strategic errors by the team, with the Ferrari star insisting that he “speaks up” and “admits” when it’s him in the wrong.

“We are self-critical, and I am part of it,” he said.

“I am very critical within the team. I’m not a driver who criticises harshly in public.

“But in internal meetings I push my team forward. That is my job. When I make mistakes, I speak up. If the team makes mistakes, that has to be on the table. I have to be allowed to say what I think.”

Interestingly, Leclerc’s honesty and openness after making driver errors is something that’s been criticised in 2022.

The Ferrari driver has tended to become very emotional and angry with himself over the radio, especially when he crashed out of the lead at the French Grand Prix.

Leclerc insists that’s just “how I work” and that it’s “wrong” to “hide your mistakes”.

“That’s how I work, I admit when I’ve made mistakes,” he explained.

“I don’t mind because everyone makes them.

“What’s wrong is when you want to hide your mistakes because then you don’t grow from them. As soon as I have made a mistake, I am confident that I will come out stronger.”

Speaking more on the topic of owning up to mistakes and not hiding it, Leclerc revealed that the Ferrari camp are “honest with each other” all the time.

The reason for doing this, according to the Monegasque, is to “grow together”, something they certainly did at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

At the season finale, Leclerc claimed second in the Drivers’ Championship thanks to a strategic masterclass from Ferrari, a rarity in 2022.

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“A mistake can be unique,” Leclerc added.

“That’s quite normal for me. I have always admitted my mistakes. I don’t think that’s bad.

“If the team makes a mistake, I tell them too. We are honest with each other. With this way of working, we grow together. So I don’t want to change my approach.”