Ferrari boss blames Charles Leclerc over embarrassing incident

Frederic Vasseur has backed Ferrari and blamed Charles Leclerc following an embarrassing incident.

Ferrari’s team principal Frederic Vasseur has come to the defense of his team following a pitstop mix-up that unfolded early on during the Dutch Grand Prix. 

As rain cascaded onto the circuit and the final sector of the track grew increasingly wet, Vasseur addressed the unforeseen challenge faced by the team.

On the opening lap of the race, raindrops began to patter down on the track, with the final sector bearing the brunt of the precipitation. 

In response to the changing conditions, Charles Leclerc opted to switch to intermediate tires at the conclusion of the lap. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, the decision was made so belatedly that Ferrari was ill-prepared with the required tires, resulting in a protracted delay as Leclerc’s car sat stationary in the pit box before rejoining the track.

The pitstop mishap added another layer of complexity to Ferrari’s campaign, an outfit that has faced criticism in recent years for its strategic lapses. 

In the aftermath of the race, Leclerc shouldered some of the responsibility for the delayed call, acknowledging, “We could have optimised it better as a team.” 

He conceded that his decision to pit was last-minute as the rain grew heavier. 

Article continues below

Nonetheless, he contended that the alternative of continuing on the drenched track with dry tires would have been even more detrimental.

Offering insight into the situation, Vasseur supported Leclerc’s decision to pit despite the challenges encountered, acknowledging that the call was driven by the desire to salvage time. 

He explained, “The rain was in the last corner and he decided to pit. 

READ: Lewis Hamilton bails out Mercedes

“It was a very late call, but I think it was still the right decision because we were in a much better position than before even with the six or seven seconds we lost in the pit lane. 

“For sure, if you are 10 seconds behind or five seconds behind and you make the call, it is much easier. 

“But I don’t have to complain about this because it was the right call.”