Charles Leclerc was struggling to understand Ferrari’s strategy decisions in the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix as he finished sixth.
The Monegasque started the race third behind team-mate Carlos Sainz after Mercedes’ George Russell took a sensational pole, and he got ahead of the Spaniard in the first pit stop phase.
Following the initial stop, both Ferraris had used up both of their fresh sets of Mediums for the race, as they started on the yellow-walled tyre too, so they were locked into either the Hards or the Softs on their second stop.
Leclerc passed Russell for the lead in the second stint, but Ferrari bizarrely decided to respond to Max Verstappen after the Dutchman made his second stop from fourth.
He went onto the Hards, but he had little grip and little pace, so was passed by the Red Bull driver, before pitting again for Softs towards the end.
This put him down to sixth, and he could not make up the ground to Sergio Perez.
Verstappen went on to win the race from Sir Lewis Hamilton, who passed Sainz after they both went long on Mediums in the middle stint, and the Spaniard failed to get ahead of the second Mercedes of Russell as he had to settle for fourth.
After the race’s completion, Leclerc explained over the radio that the Hards were the worst tyre to be on, particularly in damp, cold conditions.
“The Hards were so bad, that’s why I said that I wanted to stay on the Mediums for as long as possible,” he said on the cool-down lap.
“The Hards were really bad, was this the same for everyone or was this only for us?”
“I think it was the same for everyone with the Hards,” replied engineer Xavi Marcos.
“Why did we go on it, I mean what was the reason then?” queried Leclerc, before receiving an answer which we cannot make out.
“Are we the only ones with ones with three stops?” asked a confused Leclerc, to which Marcos said, “of the front-runners yes, at the back, some people with three stops.”
Verstappen’s win came from 10th on the grid after power issues in qualifying denied him a final run in Q3, and the Dutchman now leads Leclerc by 80 points in the Drivers’ Standings.
Ferrari’s latest capitulation and Mercedes’ subsequent second double podium of the year now put the German side to within 30 points of the Scuderia in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.