Charles Leclerc copies Max Verstappen as he lashes out at Ferrari

Charles Leclerc fell victim once again to a Ferrari strategic blunder during qualifying at Interlagos.

Charles Leclerc’s 2022 campaign can be summed up by his qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix; mistake after mistake, with it once again not being the fault of the 24-year-old.

Qualifying at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace was brilliantly frantic, with Q1 having been completed on at first Intermediate tyres, before everyone rushed back into the pits for Softs late on.

This came as a result of rapid track evolution, with the surface having initially been wet due to rain that fell prior to the qualifying session.

Leclerc was lucky to not be knocked out in the opening part of qualifying, after being blocked by Yuki Tsunoda; however, his final lap was good enough for P12 which saw him safely through to the second part of qualifying.

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The entirety of Q2 was completed on the Soft tyres, with the circuit having almost fully dried remarkably, except for the last few corners which remained damp.

Q2 was much simpler for the Monegasque, who safely progressed to Q3 after ending the middle part of qualifying in third, just over six-hundredths of a second behind Max Verstappen.

Leclerc clearly had pace on the Slick tyres in his F1-75, which is why it was completely baffling that Ferrari fitted their star driver with the Intermediate tyres for the start of Q3, despite the circuit still being in the same condition it was in at the end of Q2.

The Ferrari driver was the only person on the Intermediate tyres, which saw him almost crawl round the circuit whilst attempting to set a lap-time.

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He even blocked Sergio Pérez for the entirety of his hot lap, although, it can hardly be called that!

Leclerc eventually entered the pits for Softs, but a red flag effectively brought the session to an end, with the weather having dramatically turned for the worse whilst the session was suspended to recover a beached George Russell.

It left Leclerc in P10, which will become ninth due to Carlos Sainz having a five-place grid penalty, following yet another engine component change.

Leclerc was clearly baffled and equally furious with his team’s decision, with his radio conversation following the red flag being flown being all the proof that is needed of that.

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“Did everyone complete a lap on the slicks?” Leclerc asked his race engineer.

“Yes,” the engineer replied.

“Nice. Beautiful, f**king beautiful,” the 24-year-old responded, echoing comments previously made by Max Verstappen to his Red Bull engineer.