Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Leclerc’s impassioned radio messages are “fairly normal” – Vettel

2019 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc’s impassioned team radio messages are “fairly normal”, according to his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel.

In his first four races for the team Leclerc has gained a reputation for his often uncompromising assessments of his driving ability, such as berating himself for poor qualifying efforts. However Vettel said his team mate’s exclamations at the wheel need to be seen in context.

“The difficulty with radio messages I think when you listen to them is that you don’t know what state of mind we are in the race,” said Vettel.

“What I want to say is that obviously you’re trying to go as fast as you can at all times and I think it’s pretty normal if somebody asks you a question that you’re not going to reply as if you’re just sitting at home on the couch taking a drink and relaxing. You are in a hurry and I think that’s for all of us.

“Obviously this is our passion, it’s our life, we care a lot about what happens on-track. I think it’s normal that it sounds very excited because we are. We are all eager to win, we are all eager to go as fast as possible so I would say it’s fairly normal and it’s a good sign.

“I think if you sound completely relaxed probably you would be asked afterwards: ‘Don’t you care? You sound so relaxed. What’s wrong with you?’ I think it’s a good sign, I think emotions are part of our sport and they should be.”

F1 newcomer Lando Norris echoed Vettel’s view, joking he “had more swear words” in his own radio messages.

“It’s not just me or drivers, if you make a mistake or anyone makes a mistake you probably swear because you’re annoyed,” said Norris.

“It’s the same for probably most of us. It’s not just Charles or just me I think most drivers if they make a mistake or don’t do what they know that they could do then they’ll get annoyed with themselves. I would say we’re in a similar boat with how I comment about myself if I didn’t do what I needed to do.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Leclerc’s impassioned radio messages are “fairly normal” – Vettel”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve also sworn quite a few times when something doesn’t go right. It’s just normal human behavior.

  2. I get more annoyed when I concede a goal in FIFA, let alone when I just made a small error that cost me the chance for pole and a race win, and letting down over 1000 people who are relying on me. It’s a completely natural reaction, and at least he is completely honest with himself, which is more than I can say for myself (EVERY GOAL CONCEDED IS THE GAME’S FAULT).

  3. Some of Charles RT messages relate to him being asked by the team to get less points than they could have got at each Grand Prix. It seems to me Ferrari have squandered some of their potential points haul they could have achieved so far this season. I don’t see why that should worry them unless Red Bull happens to be ahead of them towards the end of this season.

  4. :D what’s the problem?

    Racing driver passionate about a race, who got triggered by his enthusiasm?

  5. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
    6th May 2019, 12:35

    Swearing is not enough sometimes you just have to push somebody, that is normal behavour too.

    1. BlackJackFan
      6th May 2019, 17:31

      Not in my world it isn’t…!

    2. Umm, we’re talking Leclerc, not Max, right?

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th May 2019, 17:37

      @pietkoster Or run into the side of their car.

  6. Passionate radio messages are the best!

    My all-time favourite (as a fan of him) is Webber’s radio message when he finally nailed his first win; particularly after the hell of a race he was put through. I was dancing around the room cheering and his ecstatic radio message just added to my own emotion.

    It’s been a long time since I was so invested, but it is why I watch.

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