Charles Leclerc makes ‘very bad interpretation’ claim, opens up on Ferrari anger

Charles Leclerc has denied being a "model student" and opened up on his anger at Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc will look back on his 2022 campaign with mixed emotions, having claimed three victories during the season but having also lost several more through a plethora of errors.

Driver errors, strategic blunders and reliability gremlins have ridiculed the Monegasque’s season, who still managed to claim second in the Drivers’ Championship despite all the issues he’s faced.

This is certainly a step in the right direction for Ferrari and the 24-year-old, given that they were a midfield side in 2021.

Ex-F1 driver Damon Hill, though, has questioned Leclerc’s ability to take control, given how many things have gone wrong this season.

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The most bizarre error of them all came during Q3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Ferrari fitted Leclerc with Intermediate tyres despite the circuit being dry.

Ferrari were supposedly concerned of incoming rain and fitted Leclerc with the green-walled tyres in the hope that it came early, which it didn’t.

After qualifying P10 due to being the only driver not on the Softs, Leclerc was quick to snap at his side.

“Beautiful, f***ing beautiful,” Leclerc said on the radio after qualifying at the Brazilian GP.

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Hill, though, wants to see Leclerc take some “responsibility” over strategic calls, unless he hasn’t got the “courage” to say what tyres he wants.

“I think you can see Charles is sort of criticising the team on the radio effectively by saying ‘nice one guys, thanks very much’,” Hill said to Sky Sports.

“But he has to assume some responsibility as well – maybe they are not letting him do that, or he hasn’t got the courage to assume it for themselves.”

His ability to not make decisions for himself and remain somewhat diplomatic was raised during an interview with L’Equipe after the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the interviewer suggested that Leclerc gives the “impression of being a model student who never questions decisions”.

Leclerc denies being a “model student” and instead believes it’s better to “make decisions together”.

“I clearly think that is a very bad interpretation,” Leclerc replied to L’Equipe.

“As a driver, if we want to win the championship one day, it’s not by making decisions in the car, by having five per cent of the information that the strategists have. It’s by getting the information from the pit wall, that’s how we’ll win.

“The best approach is that we all get on the same page with the team and then make decisions together. But they have to be the right ones.”

Despite all the issues, Ferrari got their strategy spot on at the last round of the year in Abu Dhabi, where the Maranello-based side tricked Sergio Pérez into making an additional pit-stop.

Ferrari also ended the year second in the Constructors’ Championship despite having been in poor form ahead of the finale.

Leclerc also revealed in the interview that he “used” every emotion from the season to “fuel” his motivation, to claim second in both titles.

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“I still had [motivation],” added Leclerc.

“I wanted us to try to improve in all these areas. Afterwards, it’s true that sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment, when it doesn’t work, emotions come out.

“It can be frustration or irritation. But in the end, I used all these emotions as fuel for my motivation, by going back to Maranello and trying to work even harder to try to understand these mistakes and not to repeat them.”