Tyre choice debacle was ‘Leclerc’s fault’ – Schumacher

Mon, 19 June 2023, 05:00

Jun.19 (GMM) It’s not fair for Charles Leclerc to point the finger of blame so squarely on Ferrari for the spate of recent strategy mistakes.

That is the view of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, after Leclerc so publicly chided the Maranello based team for the latest tyre compound blunder in Montreal qualifying.

“Ferrari was obviously not so good in terms of the timing,” he told Sky Deutschland. “But Charles was off the track too often again, so you have to wonder why.

“A typical Ferrari Saturday, I would say,” the German added.

Schumacher said it is unfair for Leclerc to have lost his temper with Ferrari both on the radio and when speaking with the media afterwards.

“As a driver, something like this would not have happened to me,” said Ralf. “As a driver, I made the decision about when to come in for tyres.

“Only the driver can really see how wet or dry it is. So it’s Leclerc’s fault, especially as both the Ferrari drivers are making too many mistakes.

“I also don’t like the way Leclerc and (Carlos) Sainz are often yelling on the radio. It gives the impression that the drivers and the engineers are at odds. Ferrari needs to change that,” Schumacher added.

However, the good news for Ferrari in Canada is that the race pace – normally Ferrari’s Achilles heel – was so much better than qualifying.

In fact, Dr Helmut Marko thinks the Maranello team was even faster than Red Bull in race conditions.

“We can take a lot of positive things with us from Canada,” said Leclerc. “But it has also become clear that we still lack the ability to be at the very top.”

As for his Saturday outbursts, Leclerc is understood to have apologised to Ferrari both privately and publicly.

“We will have a discussion but it remains inside the team,” he told Canal Plus. “I let myself go a little because of the passion and the desire to do well.”

Team boss Frederic Vasseur agreed: “No regrets, but we have to try to correct the mistakes.

“We’ll discuss it at home on Tuesday,” said the Frenchman. “We have to concentrate on the next race, where we will bring updates and try to put everything together.”

Spaniard Sainz, however, cautions that Ferrari always predicted that Canada would be a much better weekend after the misery of Barcelona.

“When we say it, it is because we know it,” he said. “We know the weak and strong points of our car and we will see it in each race.”

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