Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Analysis: Were Ferrari’s team orders fair on Leclerc?

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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During Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 fans heard Ferrari tell Charles Leclerc to speed up and then, just 45 seconds later, that he had to let his team mate past.

On the face of it Ferrari hadn’t given Leclerc much time to prove he was quick enough to pull away from Vettel. However the true circumstances were somewhat different.

While Lewis Hamilton led the two Mercedes away at the front of the field, Vettel was convinced he lap as quickly as them if he could get past his team mate. “How fast can you go? Need to push now,” his race engineer urged. “I’ll try and get closer,” Vettel replied.”I think I can do Hamilton’s pace.”

By lap nine Leclerc was three seconds behind Valtteri Bottas, who in turn was 3.3 seconds adrift of Hamilton. Last year Ferrari had been stung by Bottas, who took the lead from Vettel by pitting before him when he had been 3.5 seconds behind. Their chance to get revenge on the Mercedes was slipping away.

Ferrari’s initial instruction for Leclerc to increase his pace came earlier than was indicated by the delayed radio messages play on the world feed. Leclerc in fact had more than a full 90-second lap to demonstrate his pace:

9To LeclercCharles, Can you go faster? Can you go faster?Lap 9, approaching turn six
9Leclerc[Unclear] …yet.
9To LeclercSo we need to push. Push now.Exiting turn six
9To LeclercWe need to go faster otherwise we’ll let Sebastian past.On back straight
9LeclercYeah but we are both… OK. Let’s see in two laps. But OK.
9To LeclercCopy

Leclerc’s comment that they would “see in two laps” suggests he was referring to the previous race, where he was told to wait two laps after he said Vettel was holding him up.

Once he had been told to push, Leclerc was slightly quicker in the middle sector, then Vettel took time out of him in the next two. The gap between the pair dipped below 0.7 seconds at one point during lap 10.

LapSectorLeclercVettel
229.48629.562
343.16743.066
126.37326.241
229.39329.625

Through the twisty middle sector Leclerc began to re-establish himself, but in the final sector the team told him he had to let Vettel by.

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9To LeclercCharles, Can you go faster? Can you go faster?Lap 9, approaching turn six
10To LeclercLet Sebastian by.On back straight
10LeclercBut I’ve done it now. I’m pulling away.
10LeclercI’ll let him byPit straight
11To LeclercCopy

Was Vettel genuinely quicker than Leclerc? Their sector times can be read in different ways.

Vettel’s quicker sector times appear to indicate he was faster, and his time loss in the twisty in sector two was because he was so close to his team mate he was suffering the effects of turbulence. Alternatively, Vettel’s slower sector two time at the end may prove Leclerc was capable of running at his team mate’s pace, and that Vettel was only closing on him thanks to the DRS zones in the other two sectors.

What happened next indicates the latter scenario is realistic. Because not only did Vettel not lap at Hamilton’s pace (he was around a second slower), he was barely any quicker than Leclerc. It looked very much as though the pair had very similar pace, and the DRS effect was making the biggest difference:

By dropping Leclerc behind Vettel, the team had cost their driver almost two seconds, and now he was the one who felt he was being held up. “I’m losing quite a lot of time,” he said on the radio, adding pointedly: “I don’t know whether you want to know or not.” In fact the pace of both cars dropped by around half a second.

For Leclerc the damage was done. The position swap was a triple-whammy: he lost any chance of being able to jump ahead of Bottas, he lost first call on pitting to Vettel, and he lost time compared to Max Verstappen. Red Bull snookered Ferrari by bringing their driver in before either of them, guaranteeing Leclerc would end up behind Verstappen.

There’s little indication Vettel was significantly faster than Leclerc. The time lost swapping their drivers meant Ferrari finished third and fifth instead of third and fourth.

Leclerc had plenty of reason to feel hard done by. Particularly as this was the third time in as many races Ferrari showed his interests come second to his team mate’s.

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Keith Collantine
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70 comments on “Analysis: Were Ferrari’s team orders fair on Leclerc?”

  1. I still say they couldn’t have known whether or not SV was faster until they let him by CL. It sure appeared so to many, including Ferrari. Had they done nothing that would have meant just sitting on their hands watching the Mercs disappear. They had to at least try when it appeared SV was being held up. CL was not reeling the Mercs in. That it turned out Seb was no faster than CL was something they could not know until they tried.

    1. I disagree. They have lots of data that would have showed them exactly what we now know and that is that Vettel was not lapping quicker than Leclerc. Which I think was quite clear to anyone watching the race (Remember Vettel also had the benefit of DRS). Vettel did no better than Leclerc and hence the swap cost Ferrari points (could not happen to a nicer team… /s)

      The point is that unless they were reasonably confident that Vettel could go much faster than Leclerc (Something that was clearly not the case) then they should have left them as they were. If they had then Leclerc would be much closer to Hamiltons points tally than Vettel currently is…

      1. do you think is it not a difference that vettel could keep himself in drs-distance whereas leclerc couldn’t? that was the difference between the two drivers. not a big difference but noticeable: vettel was able to keep leclerc out of drs even with cooked tyres

        1. Nope, Leclerc clearly knew he was not going to be allowed to re-pass Vettel (after all he had just been told to let him past!) So he did the sensible thing and dropped back to save his tyres (Good job as they then left him out far too long). Despite this he then lapped at pretty much the same pace as Vettel with no help from DRS.

      2. It doesn’t help when your driver says he can lap a second faster but actually lied.

    2. @robbie

      Disagree. Vettel didn’t seem quicker than in the opening 10 laps. He never got close enough to even attempt an overtake. Eveytime he clawed some time back in DRS, Leclerc would get it back to a decent gap in the next sector or two. At the most Vettel had a tenth or two on Leclerc if he had gotten some cleaner air.. So I really didn’t see the point in a swap. Especially, considering that Leclerc was nearly 2 seconds a lap faster than Vettel in Australia and close to 8 tenths a lap faster than Vettel in Bahrain.. Yet he was told to hold position. How on earth can it be justified to let Vettel by who was running at the same pace as Leclerc at the time to be given a position?

      Vettel really needs to overtake his team mate if he’s got the pace.. Or at least show he’s got the pace to beat his teammate. The championship won’t be served to him on a silver platter..

      1. @todfod Yeah this is really debatable no question. For me if SV had a tenth or two on CL then there was slightly better odds of him reeling in the Mercs than CL. So much of this debate is coming with the luxury of hindsight and forgets the lack of crystal ball Ferrari had.

        Your last paragraph I agree. I also think that CL appears to be earning the position to not be ordered any more. It is just going to happen one race at a time, one set of circumstances at a time.

        For now, for me, if they have been trying to help SV that may be because they are trying to look after their high earning four time WDC which I think would be understandable. Could we really have imagined CL coming out of the blocks this well and them then immediately making orders against SV? But as I say I can envision that they simply won’t be able to keep making orders against CL if he continues on this great form. Ideally both drivers need to start beating each other by a bigger margin and just settle it on the track rather than via orders, no matter what Merc is doing in any given race.

        1. @robbie

          For me if SV had a tenth or two on CL then there was slightly better odds of him reeling in the Mercs than CL. So much of this debate is coming with the luxury of hindsight and forgets the lack of crystal ball Ferrari had.

          If we’re talking about purely “bettering the odds” , then let’s put our strategist hats on.

          In Australia, Vettel was slower than Max and got overtaken by him. The gap was widening between Max and Vettel, which made the podium out of reach even in case of an unexpected event such as Max making a mistake, or a safety car period. Strategically speaking, Ferrari should be well prepared for any sudden eventuality. Having Leclerc in front of Vettel would have been beneficial for Ferrari. In case Max slipped up, or if there was a late safety car period, Leclerc had the pace at the time to take the position off Max and get on the podium. Thus, resulting a better result for the team.

          In Bahrain, Leclerc was significantly faster than race leader Vettel as well. Vettel and Hamilton were doing similar lap times and it was no guarantee of a win if they had Vettel as the car leading the race. Yet, they asked a quicker driver, with greater odds of winning the race to hold position. Why?

          Honestly, you might think this is debatable, but I disagree. Hypothetically, if Leclerc was in Vettel’s positions during the first 3 races so far, ask yourself whether Ferrari would have taken the same decisions.

    3. If he would have been quicker than Leclerc he should simply have overtaken him..especially with the new fancy frontwings.

    4. Ferrari would have also been using information gained during practice and Qualifing, to base there decision on which was the faster Ferrari driver this weekend. That data from what we can tell pointed to Seb.

      Also analysis should be done of there average lap times of there first (say ten laps) of there second and third stints when they both where in clear air – which driver was faster? I was expecting Charles to set the timing screens alight when he came out after his second pit stop but he Vettels fastest lap stood…

      Comparing them in the opening stint is a little futile – Sebs tires where probably gone by the time he got past, and comparing the gap to a totally diffrent car could be down to tires/statergy etc. – I can’t see the value.

      1. Do you realise that Charles was told he has a potential mechanical problem with his car? Once Ferrari realised that Charles was going to beat Seb’s fastest lap they told him he had a problem. It was only 5 laps later did they tell Charles that it was all clear and he was free to resume racing proper. How come this has not been processed and analysed???

  2. If they hadn’t swapped positions, and if Leclerc continued to match Seb’s pace and finished where he (Seb) did, a Red Bull driver wouldn’t be above both of them in the drivers championship right now…

    Figure it out, Ferrari.

    1. come on… i’m sure ferrari is watching the standing after three races… 18 left and anything can happen. team first, they had to try

      1. No they didn’t! They should have left them alone and they would now have a driver on a higher points tally. Although that driver would be the wrong driver, which is exactly why they swapped them over. If Vettel had clearly been quicker then they might have been justified but he was not clearly quicker.

        1. That’s how you finish 3 and 4 in the championship, CL was 4 seconds behind Mercs by lap ten, he wasn’t going to catch them, does it matter if you finish 3rd and 4th or 4th and 3rd, give the other driver a chance to make a difference (he didn’t be that’s a different story)

          One thing I do know, is that if SV had been ahead of CL for the first 10 laps, and CL had stayed as close, there would have been uproar about not giving CL the chance

          1. when you have p3 p4 and are fighting for constructors titles as well, then you dont risk p4 for a hail mary at p2….which it was clear they’d never get to.

          2. Only if Leclerc was clearly faster like he was in Bahrain.

            And they didn’t finish 3rd and 4th… And they are not 3rd and 4th in the championship.

          3. The point I was making, that you totally missed, was that using your tactics, Ferrari at lap 10, had a best chance of 3rd .. no better, they rolled a dice to try for something better (and like I said, he didn’t thats a difference story)

            Leaving LC third was fine, if that was what you wanted … Ferrari might have got better points by leaving the drivers in order, but they wouldn’t have got a better position (3rd)

  3. vettel was faster. even if it was 0,15 sec/lap he was faster, and we can in this case it was a 50:50 situation. the rules were clear for everybody before the season. very popular theory among keyboard warriors that leclerc was faster three out of three weekends, but in reality vettel is leading 2-1. not a big difference, but leclerc is not a leader. yet.

    why we are still talking about this? who cares who’ll be 3rd and 4th? ferrari is not fast enough, and that’s my main concern

    1. “we can SAY in this case”

    2. No Vettel wasn’t faster. He was slower than Leclerc was when Vettel claimed he would be faster. They lost more time to Verstappen and Bottas after the sawp than before.

      In fact they were pulling away from Verstappen before the swap.

    3. i dont think you can decide vettel was faster. you dont know why charles backed off…….it was the prudent thing to do if he decided it himself.

      also, in australia charles could have passed vettel – he was told not to
      in bahrain charles had the win and vettel was NOWHERE.
      in china charles won off the line (after starting behind) and turned out vettel WASN’T going faster when he had no drs.

      dont protect ferrari just because………..

  4. It was obvious that Vettel didn’t have the pace to match the Mercedes. If he had, he would have sailed past Leclerc easily.
    Ferrari were either deluded or decided to put all their bets on the supposedly faster driver who, up to now, has not been faster.

    1. @dragon88

      the supposedly faster driver who, up to now, has not been faster.

      Vettel had been faster than Leclerc all weekend.

      he would have sailed past Leclerc easily.

      ignoring how difficult overtaking was, there were cars that were catching other cars at 1 second a lap that caught them and didn’t sail past easily. cars that were catching albon late in the race for instance.

      1. Leclerc had had technical issues all weekend. Yet still he ended up in front of Vettel and he was faster at that time too.

  5. You forgot Vettel’s mistakes. I think he was faster but the mistakes that he made after they swapped the positions didn’t allow Vettel to pull away.

    The tactics from that moment on were simply idiotic, as they are with Ferrari, they can’t work out a way of having two cars in a good strategy

  6. ”I think I can do Hamilton’s pace” – in your dreams Seb.

  7. I still think letting Seb through was the right call because at the time it did look as though Vettel was been held up & could go a bit quicker. That Vettal made a few mistakes that damaged his tyres once he got by & so wasn’t able to fully capitalize on whatever extra pace he did have couldn’t be known when the decision was made.

    It’s easy to look back after the fact & say it was right or wrong but the teams have to make decisions quickly based on what they have at the time. It also goes both ways as Ferrari also took criticism for been too slow to call team tactics at Hockenheim last year.

    I also still don’t see this as team orders, More team tactics done for similar reasons & in a broadly similar way to what we have seen many teams do under similar circumstances. How many times have we heard Force India for instance tell drivers to swap places if it looked like the one behind was a bit faster.

    1. @stefmeister – We’ll see how the rest of the races play out. But in 3 races, at least 2 of which featured a faster Leclerc, Vettel was given preferential treatment. I think that is the issue bothering a number of people.

      AUS: LEC told to hold station when much faster.
      BAH: LEC told to hold back for two laps when much faster.
      CHI: LET told to let VET past when difference is unclear. Or, even if VET assumed faster, he wasn’t told to hold for two laps.

      1. *LEC not, LET (which is some Leclerc and Vettel hybrid that must never be unleashed!!!)

      2. leclerc was only faster in bahrein. in australia he was only faster at the end of the race AND because of he got the better strategy from the team. under same conditions leclerc was clearly beaten by vettel, this is very clear if you look behind the numbers

        1. If you have to “look behind the numbers” then it presumably is NOT very clear… ;-)

    2. The major mistake wasn’t the swap. I didn’t really agree at the time that it was the right thing to do, but there was logic to the move. The major error was in leaving Leclerc out for so long and giving him no chance to re-overtake Verstappen. If they had pitted Leclerc one lap after Vettel he would have got by Verstappen on track. I guess it would have sort of been an admission that they screwed up before so the psychology of the situation lead them to not do what they needed to.

  8. Yes it was fair. Leclerc will get more chances to prove hes faster than Vettel so theres no hurry.

    1. Thanks for the detailed analysis. F1 TV is not available here, so the information about team radio is very interesting.

      I’d like to know more about Vettel’s ”I think I can do Hamilton’s pace”. In what lap did he say that? I guess he had been informed of Hamilton’s lap time, but of what lap’s?

      Because Hamilton was lapping 38.5 until lap 6 and then up to 38.2 in lap 8 and 9. Before then, Ferraris’ time was about 3 or 4 tenths slower and at that time Vettel might have thought he could do Hamilton’s pace. But of course after a few more laps in dirty air, his tires were damaged and it was impossible any more.

  9. For Ferrari, it was fair and right. For LEC and most fans, it was not.
    Discounted team orders, LEC would probably have finished in front of Vettel (Counting the order in Bahrein, which enphasizes th e probably).
    What would Ferrari do with that? VET is Ferrari title shot, whatever it comes. They wouldnt change that in three weeks.
    So on Ferrari logic, it makes sense to favor VET. But VET and Ferrari loses on image.
    LEC seems hungrier and faster. Would he be a title contender this year, probably no, given mercedes advantage. Would he probably birng some healthy challenge to VET, certainly.

    1. Leclerc would have been far closer to Hamilton if they had not swapped them, than vettel is now. Surely the sensible thing would to have claimed more constructors points and benefited from a driver being closer to the leaders? That may well break the terms of the contract they have with Vettel though… Imagine if Leclerc had not been told to move over in Australia, had not had the engine problem in Bahrain and had not been told to move out of the way in China? He would be very close to Hamilton right now… He would have 53 points and be just 15 points behind Hamilton and just 9 points behind Bottas! As it is Vettel is 31 behind Hamilton…

      1. no need to imagine anything because it’s a technical sport. i understand you want to see vettel to fail and leclerc to dominate, but he’s not there yet. try to accept vettel is not so bad as you want to see him, and also try to understand how ferrari works. from a team point of view it was the correct call

        1. I have not said the Vettel is a poor driver. I think it is clear to all but the most hardened fanboys that the decision was poor. Just do the maths!

          “from a team point of view it was the correct call”
          How? How is it a good call to lose points? How is it a good call to throw away the chance to have one of your drivers as close to the Championship leader as possible? Logic says that you are talking trash.

        2. no need to imagine anything because it’s a technical sport

          But that includes assessing hypothetical alternatives for past races in order to plan future team strategy, so Lee 1’s imagined scenario is indeed valid. Basically, are Ferrari backing the right driver? In terms of points won, it was the wrong call. In terms of assisting Vettel, if that’s their aim, then it was correct. Ferrari declared that the drivers would be treated ‘equally’ this season – except where they are ‘equal’ (50/50) and then Vettel gets preference! The question, for Leclerc more than anyone, is what that actually means. Apparently, as he seems to be indicating through his ‘backchat,’ it means they are never equal in any race, even when he’s ahead and/or faster. To me he seems justifiably aggrieved that the team made an empty promise.

          1. David – I like this, non-hysterical, assessment…

  10. In short yes Leclerc was given the short straw. But i think overall the Ferrari tactics have been rubbish, as they have been for the last several races not just this yr.
    Vettels own mistakes don’t help.
    Seems silly to call it so soon but as far as I can see short of divine intervention Merc has the WDC/WCC buy the short & curlys.

  11. Leclerc was faster than Vettel at Bahrain and passed him without team orders (in factdespite team orders to hold position). So why should a 4-time champion need special help? China isn’t a difficult circuit to get past if you really do have more pace. It reminded me of the time Rosberg asked to be let past Hamilton and the latter simply replied, if he gets closer, sure. Rosberg couldn’t get close enough. Basically the ‘extra’ pace in such cases is marginal and really shouldn’t be sufficient to justify a team swapping round its drivers unless those points are crucial towards the end of a season.

    I like Leclerc’s attitude. The ironic comments about ‘2 laps’ and ‘maybe the team doesn’t want to know I’m faster’ were justified. But they point to a bit of a Hamilton-Alonso 2007 situation, which seemed a real possibility before this season started. A faster young driver and a team with a title-challenging car uncertain how to deal with the demands of their experienced ‘number 1’ driver – echoes of Alonso asking to be let past Hamilton because he was ‘faster’ at the 2007 US race, for example (refused). However I don’t think Vettel is at the same level any more. Ferrari can continue to be back him, taking points of Leclerc, and then have Vettel making the same mistakes seen the last two seasons – and already this – and effectively losing any chance of the championship again. Leclerc, on the other hand, on present evidence, is a faster and more composed driver. Obviously it’s their call to make.

  12. It was fair. Vettel did seem marginally faster, and probably would have been a lot more if he hadn’t kept locking up. Also at that stage with Mercedes pulling away lap after lap they had to try something, so why not? Ultimately if Vettel/Leclerc had been running 1-2 they’d never have swapped. It didn’t seem to be a case of giving Vettel priority or shafting Leclerc, more an attempt to do ‘something’, to try anything, as Ferrari had no answer to Mercedes.

    The worst part of that is that means Ferrari are probably a lot more desperate than it looks. It was right for the team Ferrari, less so for the driver Leclerc.

    1. Did you read the article, and check the graphs… in order to further debate this issue… or are you just spouting the usual fan-boy comment that several people have been posting (both for and against) for forty-eight hours…? ;-)

  13. Fair? Of course it’s fair. Leclerc signed up for this.

  14. I noticed that in recent times nobody seems to be making a big fuss about the actual team order.
    When the Alonso/Massa switch happened the amount of uproar was immense despite one driver being a champion contender… some years later and not even a thought about the actual act of imposing team orders in the first races of the season.

    1. That was when Team Orders were banned. Hence why there was an uproar, plus the fact that Massa had just returned from a serious injury and was on for a “fairy tale” win.

  15. I’m so disappointed with you Ferrari. I’m not shocked or surprised, just disappointed. I’ve really tried to support you over these last couple of seasons but, boy, you’ve made it hard – SO HARD. Therefore, due to your ineptitude, I will be transferring my support to teams that deserve it. Good bye forever, you were truly terrible. xxx

    1. Hahaha… seems to prove why being a fan-boy is so silly…

  16. I’m a bit late to this one so I will just state my view.

    Ferrari management need to stop worshipping themselves and give Leclerc the tool to do the job.

    They can …. he can …. now get on with it!

  17. Short answer: No.
    Longer answer: Ferrari’s resorted to the team order tactics way too early into the season. I could perfectly understand doing so much further into the season, for example, in September or October if by then only one of the drivers had a realistic shot at the WDC anymore, but only three races into the season, and there have already been three cases of similar type by Ferrari in as many races.

    1. I agree. I thought Leclerc’s signing was partially influenced by the way that Vettel’s 2018 challenge withered in the second half of the season. Ferrari would have two horses in the race for 2019, with team orders playing a part towards the end of the season. But it looks like Leclerc is not even going to be allowed to earn enough points to make a serious title bid. Unless Vettel hits trouble, Leclerc with have to cede.

      If Vettel needs team orders at every single race, then he no longer has it to win the championship.

  18. yeah, sure it was not fair, but isn’t it Formula1 highly unfair at all…?
    nevertheless LEC will do – eventually – seems that kiddo understands politics too,
    so pretty bright future before him stays wide open, I guess…

  19. I think my problem with it is that it doesn’t square with what Ferrari publicly said they would do (F1 team not being honest, gasp!!). They said, equal treatment unless it is 50-50—in which case we will defer to VET. Seems somewhat reasonable, to me anyway. Except they have given preferential treatment to VET 3/3 times so far. LEC was much faster in the first two races , and maybe 50-50 in China, or maybe VET seemed slightly faster. So, 3 races in, and it is already not what they said.

    Had they said from the start something like, Because this is Leclerc’s first season at Ferrari and he is still a young driver, we are going to have this season be a support role for Vettel… next season we will look at equal treatment. I would understand what they are doing now. But they didn’t, because that would probably have caused uproar. However, now, they said what they said but are not acting in accord with their statement and are met with similar comments. They’d have been better off not saying anything, or being more open.

    And, IF a team plans to back one driver, they need to do it from the start. I agree that the sporting thing to do is to wait until it is clear that there is a single driver that has the much better chance and then support them. However, you sacrifice points in waiting for that to appear. Every race matters, not just after race 16 when driver X is ahead of driver Y and needs preference. Please note that I said, “if that’s what a team plans to do.” And since Ferrari seems bent on supporting Vettel all the time, they need to sacrifice LEC every chance from here out to make it worth it.

  20. If I were a teamboss and had my second driver constantly in the DRS zone of his teammate and the cars in front running away then:
    1) I’d give the front guy a couple of laps to create a gap to his teammate;
    2) If not possible swap the guys with the promise to swap them back if the other guy cannot create a gap to his teammate either.
    3) ignore what all couch experts have to say about it ;)

    1. Ferrari did number 1 even allowing Leclerc a higher engine mode than Vettel and could not pull away!

      1. @rockie @coldfly The flaw in that plan being they then failed to do the second half of step 2) (steps 1 and 3, they appear to have executed just fine).

  21. …and he lost time compared to Max Verstappen. Red Bull snookered Ferrari by bringing their driver in before either of them, guaranteeing Leclerc would end up behind Verstappen.

    Verstappen is now third on the WDC board, 2 points ahead of Vettel and 3 points ahead of Leclerc, and this is despite the Red Bull car being thought of as slower than the Ferrari. This is a battle that Ferrari didn’t need to be involved in, but now they are, because the danger is that Gasly, who got the Fastest Lap point in at this race, is improving.

  22. Three team orders in team races. All to the gain of the slower “lead” driver…
    Ferrari, you suck.

  23. Leclerc needs to nderstand that he is not driver number 1 at Ferrari he is number 2. This season the best he can do is cruise behind Vet and give it a try next year. Disobeying team orders is not tolerated by Ferrari, they bring Kimi back in the blink of an eye.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      17th April 2019, 4:37

      Here’s the strange thing – 3 races into the season Vettel has 37 points and Leclerc has 36 points with 3 team orders (1 Leclerc ignored) and 1 failure.

      If Leclerc had won at Bahrain and kept his position in China, he could have been 19 points ahead of Vettel (15 for Bahrain and 5 at China).

      Can Ferrari afford to give up all those points? Do you really think they would replace Vettel with Kimi? :-)

      1. Leclerc is surely one of the best options Ferrari has. But it still is chaos at Ferrari, so as I see things, they made a plan (Vettel) to solve the chaos and they stick to it, next step: prepare Leclerc for WDC next season. About Kimi was a suggestion, but the last thing they can have at the moment is a driver who does not listen to team orders. Then this would make the chaos complete.

  24. What I feel was even worse is that they knew Leclerc would fall victim to the undercut from Verstappen and yet they did not pit him (or Vettel who by then was clearly holding up Leclerc). They kept him in play as a pawn behind Vettel to make sure enough of gap remained between Vettel and Verstappen.

    Then after he was taken by the Verstappen undercut, they left Leclerc suffering on worn tyres to hold up Bottas so Vettel could catch up.

    Ferrari completely ruined Lecler’s race solely to help Vettel. As Leclerc put it, they sacrificed him to try to go for a 2-5 instead of a 3-4, but instead they ended up with a 3-5.

    Hopefully Leclerc gets a bit more comfortable in the new team and in a few races these team orders will start falling in the opposite direction.

  25. Bernardo Borges Fortes
    16th April 2019, 21:33

    We don’t need to go very deep into numbers. My conceptual analysis is: If it was the other way around (Seb ahead), would they have done the same ?

    I highly doubt it.

    #LetLeclercRace !!!

  26. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    16th April 2019, 21:35

    Would love to see each drivers strategist and team principals in a chess tournament.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      16th April 2019, 21:37

      The guys in red would probably show up and think they’re entering a checkers tournament…… or x’ and o’s

  27. i must have misheard Le Charles, i thought he said
    “I’m losing quite a lot of time,” “I don’t know whether you Care or not. The Mustache is not faster , let me go!”

  28. Seb sit about 9 laps behind Lecler and damaged his tyres. Probably he could be faster if Lecler not overtook him when Seb fight with Bottas, who knows.

    This is up to team to decide what to do. I think they both have similar pace but what do you choose having you to decide?

    Who would put a bet on a rookie in his debut season in Ferrari ? Did Mclaren succeed it in 2007 with LH ? And after that what was the team’s spirit ?

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