Ferrari boss breaks silence on Charles Leclerc tensions after public outburst

Tensions have continued to boil over between Charles Leclerc and Ferrari amid speculation about his future.

In a recent revelation, Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, shed light on the reason behind Charles Leclerc’s tense exchanges over the team radio during the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

It appears that a radio issue plagued Leclerc’s communication with his race engineer, Xavier Padros, leading to the frustration heard on the airwaves.

This was not the first instance this season where Leclerc’s emotions spilled over during radio communications. 

In Budapest, Leclerc voiced concerns about the team’s race tactics, requesting a strategy offset compared to his teammate Carlos Sainz. 

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Padros responded, “We are discussing it at the end,” which seemed to irk Leclerc, prompting him to retort, “What do you mean at the end?” 

Padros then reassured him, “We are on it.”

However, Vasseur clarified that part of Leclerc’s annoyance was a result of a malfunctioning microphone, which hindered clear communication. 

“We were not able to understand what he said because he had an issue with the microphone,” Vasseur explained to the media. 

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“He was not emotional but he was worried about the pace.”

The microphone problem was just one of several “mistakes” that Ferrari encountered during the Hungarian Grand Prix, and Vasseur aims to address and rectify them. 

Reflecting on the challenging race weekend, Vasseur stated, “First, we will need time to understand what we did right and wrong because the format was different, and it’s not so easy to analyse the perfect weekend and you need to get all the results to be able to do a reliable engineering on this.”

The 55-year-old team principal emphasised that Ferrari made too many errors from the beginning to the end of the race. 

The issues ranged from pit stop missteps and pit entry problems to managing the tires efficiently. 

Vasseur believes that the team’s potential was higher than what they showcased on race day, as Charles Leclerc lost valuable time amounting to 20 seconds.

Despite the challenges faced by Ferrari, Vasseur expressed confidence that his viewpoint is shared by other team principals. 

He highlighted the team principal’s role in acknowledging mistakes and working with team members to rectify them. 

“I spent the last 35 years of my life on the pit wall, and every single Monday of my career, we go through a list of mistakes,” he said candidly. 

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“The job of the team principal is to do the list with the team members and to fix it.”

Acknowledging that they made several errors, Vasseur admitted the need for improvement. 

He even speculated that other team principals, including Toto Wolff from Mercedes, would likely share similar sentiments regarding their teams’ performances.