Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur understands why Charles Leclerc was furious with his race engineer, after the Monegasque was told vital information too late, costing him a place to Lewis Hamilton.
The Maranello-based team were incredibly unfortunate at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after they pitted both Carlos Sainz and Leclerc moments before the race’s only Safety Car.
As a result, both Sainz and Leclerc lost several places; however, a lot of the damage could have been prevented.
Leclerc would’ve remained ahead of Hamilton had he been told to “push from Safety Car line one”, before reaching Safety Car line one.
What followed was an understandable outburst from Leclerc to his race engineer, given that it cost Leclerc a position in the race that he never got back.
“Try to push from Safety Car line one. Hamilton just pitted,” Leclerc was told by his race engineer.
“Xavi, you need to tell me that before!” Leclerc shouted.
“Copy,” the race engineer replied.
“No, but come on!” continued a furious Leclerc.
Vasseur admitted after the race that it wasn’t “a good call” by Leclerc’s race engineer but that it’d be a “mistake” to “focus on it”, with the Frenchman instead wanting to prioritise a more pressing matter.
“Yes, it was not a good call,” Vasseur told the media after the race.
“It is like it is. It’s not the main issue and I think it would be a mistake from our side to focus on [it].
“I don’t want to say it’s details. It was a miscommunication and we will have to speak, to fix it. It’s not the main issue at all over the weekend.”
Ferrari’s pace in the second half of the race was absolutely shocking, with the Italians having had no response to Aston Martin or Mercedes whilst on the hard compound tyre.
Vasseur wants the team to “understand the lack of performance”, with considerable work clearly needing to be done by the Maranello-based outfit.
“The most difficult thing in my business after a race like this is to understand what is going well and what is not,” Vasseur added.
“We have positive points, but we need a step on the reliability. Even the first stint of the race we can be happy with, but the race was based on the last stint and clearly we did not have the pace.
“In the tyre management we were a bit conservative, but it’s only a matter of one or two tenths. Nothing to do with the gap we had today. We need to understand the lack of performance and it’s not the tyre management.”