Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc showed great character in the way he responded to yet another strategic blip from his team, but that may partially be down to the fact that he no longer intends to stay with the Scuderia beyond this season.
Starting behind teammate Carlos Sainz in third position, both drivers started the weekend on Medium tyres.
Leclerc’s pace was better than Sainz initially and he had overtaken the Spaniard by the time they were called in for their first pit stop.
He even crossed George Russell and was leading the race before Red Bull’s Max Verstappen climbed his way forward to take top honours.
However, it was Ferrari’s dubious strategy that once again came under the scanner.
While the team decided to keep Sainz on Mediums, they gave Leclerc Hards which undoubtedly allowed Verstappen to cover considerable ground in the final third of the race.
As things turned out, Leclerc was forced to settle for P6 by the time he crossed the chequered flag.
Leclerc expressed his disappointment with the strategy on team radio.
What did Leclerc say?
“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.
“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,” his engineer Xavi Marcos said in response.
“Why did we go on it, I mean what was the reason then?” Leclerc asked.
“Are we the only ones with ones with three stops?” queried Leclerc
“Of the front-runners yes, at the back, some people with three stops,” Marcos responded.
It was a strategic howler of epic proportions and not the first time this season.
However, fans on social media were happy with the way he responded and suggested that it may be due to underlying reasons.
“I like his questions. Getting them to admit their stupidity for us outside the debrief,” a fan said.
“The fact that he said the hard was as bad for everyone and then them still putting them on is absolutely bonkers,” another opined.
One fan even speculated that Leclerc will look to go to Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton if Ferrari’s poor decision-making ended up costing him more points in the race for the championship.
“At this point you can’t be upset if he does end up at Mercedes. Unbelievable the incompetence of a singular team,” the comment read.
Verstappen sits in first position on the drivers’ standings with an impressive 80-point lead over Leclerc.