Jul.8 (GMM) Charles Leclerc has hit back at claims of deep divisions within the Ferrari team.
After the chequered flag at Silverstone, Leclerc was so obviously upset with his race strategy that team boss Mattia Binotto gave him an instant rebuke including finger-wagging.
They then cleared the air with a dinner on Wednesday at Monaco’s famous Hotel de Paris, after Leclerc reportedly cancelled a planned sponsorship appearance.
“I wanted to stay at home and get away from everything to get ready for Austria, so he joined me to make sure that I was alright,” the 24-year-old said at the Red Bull Ring.
When asked who paid for the meal, Leclerc smiled that “there are always dinners like this”.
He hit back at suggestions that Ferrari is now dangerously divided, amid rumours some team members refused to watch British GP winner Carlos Sainz on the podium or attend the victory team photo.
“It is not true that we are divided,” Leclerc is quoted by La Repubblica newspaper.
“These are just rumours spread by the media from which we must protect ourselves. We are a united team and we will remain so,” he insisted.
“Of course I was unhappy and some parts of the team were disappointed as well, as the last five races have been tough. But there is no division in the team and this is definitely not the reason for not everybody being in the photo.
“Half of the team who stayed for the picture missed the plane to go back home, so that was quite difficult,” Leclerc explained.
“I will believe in the world championship as long as the math allows,” Leclerc, who is 42 points behind drivers’ standings leader Max Verstappen. “There are no hard feelings whatsoever.”