Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Ferrari didn’t tell Leclerc about Vettel’s penalty

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc came within one second of taking second place in the Canadian Grand Prix after his Ferrari team chose not to tell him about Sebastian Vettel’s penalty.

Leclerc closed on the leading pair towards the end of the race after Vettel was handed a five-second penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion. Had Leclerc finished within five seconds of his team mate he would have been promoted to second place, but he crossed the line 6.038 seconds away before the penalty was applied.

He revealed afterwards he “had no idea” about the situation between the drivers ahead of him. “I was not told on the radio that Seb had the five seconds penalty. I was just trying to push.”

Ferrari originally suggested Leclerc should make an extra pit stop to try to claim the bonus point for fastest lap, but he chose to stay out.

“They thought it was good at first to two-stop to do the fastest lap but I didn’t agree. I really wanted to try and push because I could see that I was quicker than the two guys in front. I wanted to have my chance if something happened but I didn’t know about the five second so I just pushed until the end.”

Leclerc lost time earlier in the race when he extended his first stint. “We just tried to go long I think for a Virtual Safety Car or something like that to cover it in case there was one,” he explained.

“After[wards] you can always argue whether it was the right thing to do or not. Today not because we lost quite a lot of previous time that we had to catch up after that.

“But overall I think it’s a good performance on my side today. The laps were competitive from the first one to the last one. Just unfortunate that we couldn’t do a bit better.”

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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
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20 comments on “Ferrari didn’t tell Leclerc about Vettel’s penalty”

  1. That seems fair. Finally an intelligent decision on the pitwall.

  2. I think Leclerc has resigned himself to being ignored by the team.

    Does Ferrari really think that Vettel can challenge Hamilton for the driver’s championship due to which they repeatedly harm Leclerc’s race? Why is the excuse of ‘safety car’ being used repeatedly for leaving Leclerc out for a long stint for no reason when anyone can see that he is just losing time. Leclerc was less than 3 seconds behind Lewis just before he pitted and once Leclerc pitted he was in no-man’s land, 10-12 sec behind Lewis

    1. @bulsie No, I think Ferrari decision to leave Leclrec out is the correct one, aside from if they pit him before Lewis to try undercut him. After Lewis pit before him, there’s an almost non-existent chance for Leclerc to overtake him in the pit or overtake in the track with relatively same age of tires. By leaving him out for possibility of SC it can increases the chance of improving Leclerc race. The chance of SC happening in that window maybe abysmally small, but still much greater than Leclrec overtake Hamilton normally in the track with same strategy.

  3. This is fine, Vettel deserved second at least anyway. But Leclerc should have been in the mix. Ferrari messed up his race again by pitting him too late.

    1. Which they have done before.

  4. Leclerc deserved to know so he can fight for it.

  5. If the circumsatnces had been reversed, what are the odds of the team NOT telling Seb?

    1. Extremely small

  6. I have no problem with that, do have a major problem though with Ferrari’s inability to think for 2 drivers – last year with Raikkonnen and this year with Leclerc, they seem determined to drop them into no-mans-land. How hard would it have been to pit Leclerc first, put pressure on Hamilton, and pit Vettel the next lap? Vettel wouldn’t have lost out and they might have pipped Hamilton with Leclerc.

  7. Yeah, no need to tell him, the team doesn’t get more points if Vettel loses to him too, and it would only potentially sour the atmosphere between them.

  8. Leclerc didn’t deserve to finish ahead of Vettel today. Seb destroyed him this weekend.

    1. The grass was definitely greener on Seb’s side ;)

  9. @kingshark you dont deserve to comment on leclerc’s behalf!

  10. Shout-out to the Mercedes team rep on the podium who was brace enough to spray Seb with champagne…

    1. *brave

  11. Christian (@christianedward)
    9th June 2019, 23:33

    Leclerc closed to 5.3 before the time gap graphic disappeared off the screen on the last lap, I wonder what happen for him to drop 0.7 in the last sector when he had been gaining before.

    1. Christian (@christianedward)
      10th June 2019, 0:19

      There is a picture on my Twitter too show the time gaps.

  12. He won’t be too happy about that.
    It was fair with Vettel of course, but Leclerc doesn’t have anything to do with Vettel’s incident.

    Vettel wasn’t being limited by anyone, so he could fight for his position, or even the win, anyway.

  13. Just another example of Ferrari’s blindness to the fact that Leclerc is every bit as good as Vettel and probably hasn’t got Vettel’s characteristic of folding under pressure.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      10th June 2019, 21:19

      Vettel knows how to drive a car with a puncture back to the pits in a fit state to continue. So do virtually all other drivers I have seen do a lap back to the to the pits with tyres even worse to begin with. He could have got it back without bits flying everywhere if he had gone slower. He wrecked his car. He also crashed in Baku. Vettel is also quicker the majority of the time. Look at qualifying… 6 – 1 to Vettel. And although Leclerc has looked similar or better some of the time, it is sort of related to the strategy. of course he is faster if he pits later as he is on fresher tyres near the end. If they had been on the same strategy each race, I think Vettel will have still beaten him on merit quite a bit more often than not. And I think that will continue this season.

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