Ferrari’s strategy in Singapore brought Sebastian Vettel the long-awaited victory. That’s why Charles Leclerc was angry with his team even though he should be blaming himself.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto seemed surprised when he asked if his command post didn’t communicate Vettel’s pit stop to Charles Leclerc.”
The answer was “No”, and it irritated Binotto even more.
So did Ferrari sabotage Leclerc’s victory chances in Singapore? No, as the radio communication protocol now revealed. According to the transcript, the Scuderia ordered Leclerc in lap 15 to achieve a so-called target ‘Lap Time’ of 1:48.5 minutes. Leclerc achieved a lap time of only 1:49.0 in Lap 19 and 1:49.6 in Lap 20. A total of 1.6 seconds deficit, which he gave away and with it he could have stayed in front of Vettel.
That also meant that according to Ferrari’s own calculations, there wasn’t even a scenario planned to bring Vettel in front even with strong lap times.
The anger of Ferrari’s shooting star (“Should the positions stay like that now?”) was out of place. He should have been angry with himself instead.
And that’s what he realized after the race and now in Sochi. Here, he expressed regret and demonstrate a more humble side of himself:
“That won’t happen again – My reaction on the radio wasn’t appropriate, even considering the plenty of adrenaline involved. The team did everything right, and without that strategy, we wouldn’t have won a double victory.”
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.