‘I have to be allowed’: Charles Leclerc opens up on harsh Ferrari criticism

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has developed a reputation for being very vocal about mistakes made by his team.

Ferrari will be on the hunt for a new team principal to spearhead their title charge in 2023, after the team announced earlier this week that they have accepted the resignation of Mattia Binotto.

The Scuderia experienced a difficult collapse in 2022, with a whole host of errors by both the team and the drivers contributing to the team’s failure to go punch for punch with Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc is still searching for his first drivers’ championship victory, and in the heat of battle the Monegasque driver has become known for sharing his thoughts on his team’s mistakes when they cost him dearly.

The 25-year-old was told by his race engineer to pit in Monaco, before the team changed their mind while he was already in the pit lane, resulting in a slow stop for Leclerc.

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The Ferrari driver was understandably outraged by his team’s mistake and publicly criticised their decision making, which he believes is not necessarily a bad thing to do.

“A mistake can be a one-off. That’s quite normal for me. I have always admitted my mistakes,” explained Leclerc.

“I don’t think that’s bad. If the team makes a mistake, I tell them too. We are honest with each other. With this way of working, we grow together. So I don’t want to change my approach.

“I am very critical within the team. I’m not a driver who criticises harshly in public. But in internal meetings I push my team forward. That is my job.

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“When I make mistakes, I speak up. If the team makes mistakes, that has to be on the table. I have to be allowed to say what I think.”

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It is rumoured that Leclerc’s criticism of team principal Mattia Binotto was a major contributing factor to the Swiss leaving his position at Ferrari.

Leclerc is clearly one of the more talented drivers on the grid, however it remains to be seen how much patience the Monegasque driver has with Ferrari, after his team’s strategic mishaps were a big part of Leclerc’s failure to challenge Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship.

With Red Bull wounded by their cost cap breach penalty in 2023, next season might provide the best chance yet for Leclerc to win his maiden championship, if Ferrari can get it right.