Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Singapore, 2019

“It’s not fair” fumes Leclerc as Ferrari tactics hand win to Vettel

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc told Ferrari their tactics were “not fair” as he lost victory in the Singapore Grand Prix to his team mate.

Leclerc led the opening stages of the race ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. However Vettel moved into the lead of the race after Ferrari pitted him on the lap before Leclerc.

Vettel’s early pit stop allowed him to benefit from fresher tyres sooner than Leclerc. That pace advantage meant Leclerc came out of the pits behind him when he made his subsequent pit stop.

The pair remained in the same order until the end of the race. However Leclerc repeatedly complained the pit stop strategy has spoiled his chances of winning.

During one of a series of Safety Car restarts in the second half of the race, Leclerc was told to make a settings change on his power unit. He replied: “I want everything. Even engine mode.”

Ferrari advised him: “We need to bring the car home. We need to manage the PU [power unit] and bring the car home.”

“I won’t do anything stupid,” Leclerc replied, “it’s not my goal. I want us to finish one-two. I just think it’s not fair. But this won’t change, I won’t be stupid, don’t worry.”

Leclerc followed Vettel home, scoring the team’s first one-two finish of 2019. Vettel’s win was his first for over a year.

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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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71 comments on ““It’s not fair” fumes Leclerc as Ferrari tactics hand win to Vettel”

  1. What’s not fair is what you did at monza Q. Quit whining.

    1. Because Leclerc was the only one who was slowing down right?

      1. Spot on. In Monza he and Ferrari screwed Vettel, today it was a pay back. Leclerc should stop whining. Also he was droving so slow today

        1. Monza q had no influence. There was no malice today either, Binotto took responsibility on the radio, ferrari took what merc left them. charles is entitled to complain but circumnstances led to this it happens.

      2. No Leclerc wasn’t the only one slowing down .. but he was the only one who’s motives were to screw over his team, and selfishly not repay the favor that had just been given to him

      3. Yeah, it remains a bit rich to put that all on Leclerc, Vettel could have been the one following (close enough for a tow!) Sainz, over the line @mashiat, though he does have a point, especially Vettel going after the FLAPS seemed like wanting to rub it in, and the Strategist on the podium, hard to not see that as a message to them both: yes, strategy got ‘us’ the win, and remember we decide who is our main player.

    2. Stop that nonsense! Leclerc was in front of Vettel at Monza going for that last lap in Q3. Then then Vettel overtook him! As always, Vettel did that too himself and then blamed others.

      1. That’s completly false. Leclerc should have been at the front of the train like Vettel was in the first run. But Leclerc had no intention to do that, so he clearly was at fault there. Vettel even was in front of Sainz and waited for Leclerc to pass him, but Leclerc was playing stupid.

        1. @f1osaurus There is NOTHING false about it. Leclerc went out first and Vettel overtook him!

    3. I wonder though if Vettel made the decision to undercut and not Ferrari.
      When Coulthard asked him after the race who made the decision, Vettel didn’t answer the question.
      When Coulthard pressed him again, Seb gave a claimed that right before the last corner he was called in.
      Maybe true but it’s hard to believe Seb at times because he shifts his eyes when pinned down:)

  2. I also think it was not fair to not give the tow to Vettel in Monza. Charles, you’re the future of Ferrari, but now please shut up and play the game. This was a 1-3 turned into 1-2. This is what matters.

    1. @njoydesign Stop that nonsense! Leclerc was in front of Vettel at Monza going for that last lap in Q3. Then then Vettel overtook him! As always, Vettel did that too himself and then blamed others.

      1. Vettel HAD to overtake him to get to the line in time. How does that contradict what I said?

        1. @njoydesign You pretend that it was Leclerc’s fault that he wasnt in front while’in fact it was Vettel who went in front of Leclerc himself.

  3. I agree. This was a race gifted to Vettel. There is no excuse for why you would give priority to your number 2 over your number 1, especially if they are running close on the track. Mercedes pitted Bottas first, but forced him to slow by 3 seconds a lap so Hamilton would rejoin ahead.

    1. I suppose you thought like this in Spa, when Vettel was boxed first to help Leclerc!

      1. Difference is that Leclerc was given the first priority that day. First priority doesn’t always mean pitting first. Leclerc was on the ideal strategy, Vettel pitted way too early in Spa, with Ferrari trying to force Mercedes to pit too early. Plus, track position counts for very little in Spa. In this race, there was a lap difference. In this case, pitting first is always a better strategy.

        1. In this case, pitting first is always a better strategy.

          @mashiat So Mercedes tried to gift BOT the win as well and had a change of heart?

          1. @niefer Mercedes was willing to throw stuff at the wall and see what stuck. They knew that Hamilton was already going to rejoin behind Vettel after just half a lap of the undercut, so they decided to risk it. And even then they made sure Bottas didn’t overtake Hamilton. Ferrari was in a completely different position, so they had to reason to try and do a risky strategy.

          2. @mashiat Way I see it, Mercedes tried with Bottas the same as Ferrari: undercut the car ahead. Vettel raced better than the rest and emerged ahead of what they planned. Bottas didn’t.

            One stuck, the other didn’t.

          3. @niefer I don’t know what race you were watching. Vettel and Verstappen pitted on the same lap, followed by Leclerc a lap later. Bottas pitted after all three, and when he did rejoin the race, he was set to have track position on Hamilton once he pitted within 2 laps. However, Mercedes forced him to drop below Hamilton’s pace so he wouldn’t have track position on Hamilton. I don’t know how you figured that Mercedes were trying to undercut the cars ahead with Bottas when he pitted later than everyone bar Hamilton, and there was no way Mercedes was going to let Bottas undercut Hamilton, as they showed by forcing him to slow down.

          4. @mashiat my bad, man! Idk why I took what RBR did with VER and labeled it as BOT. You are right, it was totally different. Maybe my mind was set at how they should’ve tried to undercut VER and I mixed everything up. Oh, well…

      2. Vettel pitted first cuz he ran out of tyres. He did help Leclerc later, but it happened because he was slow on older tyres not because Ferrari ordered it.

        1. Max also runout of his rears that why he pitted too.

  4. I disagree with people saying that it’s karma or whatever for Monza qualy, that wasn’t Leclerc’s fault, and also in this scenario, I disagree with Leclerc. I can understand why he’s frustrated, but if they pitted Vettel a lap later, he’d have come out behind Hulkenberg and Verstappen, and then Ferrari probably wouldn’t have had a 1-2. Ferrari had a very narrow window to get Vettel out ahead of Hulk, and for once they actually got it right. And it was also the right call to leave Leclerc out so they could get a bit of info on the tyres from Vettel, it just happened that due to the insanely slow pace, Vettel managed to undercut about 4-5 seconds or something.

    1. The more controversial strategy decision should be Mercedes asking Bottas to run a 48.8 just after he set the fastest lap at a 45.2, so asking him to run 3.6 seconds slower than his pace. Again though, you understand why they did it, as if they didn’t, Hamilton would’ve come out behind Albon.

      1. This is the best comment for what happened. It would either be 1 – 3 (or worse for Vettel) or 1 – 2 (with Vettel infront). Ferrari – Leclerc were the best this weekend except maybe in clearing the slower cars after pits but today team result was first priority.

        Also since championship is effectively over no need to overanalyse this further imo.

        1. Agree, except for the part that we don’t know for sure how much Ferrari could have kept LEC on-track compared to HAM. Giving away P1 to HAM and come behind BOT could have ended with P3-P4 for Ferrari today.

      2. @hugh11

        I’m a Hamilton fan and I have to agree. BOT should have raced for BOT on a day Leclerc, VET and VERS were all taking points off HAM. Both championships are effectively over- but I would say 3rd is still up for grabs- and depending on BOT’s form, mabybe even 2nd.

      3. Interestingly, you just gave the best team-justification for that one I have seen @hugh11, previously I thought only thought they had ‘he has the fresher tyres, will get Verstappen’ which on this track seemed rather wishful thinking.

    2. @hugh11 Agreed. It was actually pretty impressive just how precise Ferrari were in getting Vettel into the gap ahead of Hulkenberg while Verstappen came out behind him. That was a huge win for them. Vettel drove an outstanding outlap to get the undercut on Leclerc, something I’m not sure Ferrari even thought would happen. Regardless, they managed to turn a 1-3 into a 1-2. It might not have lasted without the safety cars, but that’s racing. Mercedes gambled big on the overcut and lost big.

      Far worse from my point of view was asking Bottas to slow by over 3 seconds to let Hamilton come back out in front. Why all the hate for Ferrari and not for “James”?

  5. Did Ferrari now that vettel was getting the better strategy? I mean the norm is the driver infront pits first

    I missed the first half of the race so genuine question

    1. Not yet really clear I think, though in all possibility, they should have asked Leclerc to speed up at least, especially as he was pitted two laps later (while Vettel set a super fast lap).

      1. Though having just heard RTL.DE interview Binotto, I have to say, that seems rather clear: ‘he is very glad for Vettel, and thinks he deserved it, especially after some good drives earlier in the year that were unrewarded’ (Canada?), even if it wasn’t solidly intended, the team preferred this outcome.

    2. I think that how quickly the hard tires became fast caught them and Mercedes out.

  6. ”I think the team is happy with the result.”

  7. Seems like a case of VET being accidentally gifted the win instead of being squarely gifted the win.

    1. Best comment of the day. Brilliant!

  8. Although I wanted to see Vettel bounce back and win again, I wanted to see him earn it. And he didn’t exactly earn this one. One could argue that he deserved to have a victory handed to him after he helped Charles win in Belgium, but Sebastian never had the pace to win that race himself anyway. In my mind a more valid argument is that Charles kinda had it coming, after what he did to Sebastian in qualifying in Italy.

    So as big a fan of Leclerc as I am, I don’t feel sorry for him over this one. But still, this wasn’t the comeback from Vettel that I was hoping for. He came back with a whimper, rather than a bang. He never stamped his authority on the race by pulling some amazing overtakes, and then setting blistering pace, once he was in the lead. He was gifted the lead by Ferrari through strategy, and then did just enough to keep it.

    1. Okay. As rightly pointed out by Hugh above, Ferrari were looking to secure a one-two finish, and pitting Vettel first was the best way for them to do so. Ferrari were not in fact trying to give Sebastian a leg-up over Charles, to bolster his morale (not that I’d have had an issue with that, for reasons already stated). I hadn’t realized that before. So props to Ferrari, it was a great call.

  9. Although I wanted to see Vettel bounce back and win again, I wanted to see him earn it. And he didn’t exactly earn this one.

    Have to disagree. It was Seb’s monstrous outlap that put Leclerc at risk- after ironically, struggling at the start which meant Ferrari had to pit him early.

    1. Meant to be a reply to @Craig Simons

      1. Having re-watched the race in it’s entirety, I’m now inclined to agree. Earlier I was trying to paint a room and watch the race at the same time – thought I had caught everything important. Realized something was amiss when I saw a photo of Russell’s Williams buried in the wall and thought “when the **** did that happen”.

    2. How come he struggled at the start? He was 2sec behind HAM when he entered the pits, and like 4sec behind LEC. VET and VER seemed to have no problem keeping up with LEC and HAM.

  10. Jesus, go easy on a kid. He is in early twenties. I think this treatment is good for him, because he’ll learn to count only on himself, knowing that there is always some behind the scene stuff going on. He got carried away afyer two wins. Let him complain a little, will ya? He is the future of this sport. Even Max had his monster of a dad behind him. Charlie is even more talented, and has great heart, but even greatest show weakness once in a while. He’ll become better. He is a great kid, the best we have on the grid now, very mature for his age, but still a kid! I was in Uni at his age, goddamit.
    And Seb, I guess, needed a win to collect himself.

    1. He is not mature for his age and he is not the best. He shown his childish ways many times this year and again now. Both on the track and with his comments. Like you said, he is young, so with time these things might change. Maybe not. His attitude is going downhill since he tried to overtake Verstappen and went wide many races ago. He is more dangerous en more entitled. He is also a very talented driver, but right now he is mentally where Verstappen is when he first joined Red Bull. Time will tell which type of driver he will turn into.

      1. @passingisoverrated Who is mature on the grid? Name one person, who never complained, never pushed anyone from the track, never crashed into barrier and etc. And don’t name those who just drive the whole race without racing. Out of the candidates Leclerc looks at least promising.
        He will be great. If you don’t see it, I see it.

  11. IMO it’s a misleading headline. Anyone would expect VET to stop earlier trying to cover VER and challenge HAM. But VET paced decisively fast through the field and emerged first. It paid off huge dividends, simple as that. At Spa they tried the same and it didn’t happen.

    1. @niefer At Spa they did NOT try the same. Vettel had ruined his tyres and his lap times were going up. They HAD to pit Vettel because of that.

  12. Perfect strategy from Ferrari. There should be no favourites as was the case here today. The lead driver should not get the first pit call unless both cars are running 1 and 2 with no threat from another team. Otherwise each car should strive for the best result even if that means overtaking their team mate. The strategy today turned a 1 and 3 into a 1 and 2. Well done.
    Mercedes, shameful if you ask me, telling Bottas to go slow so that he does not overtake Hamilton when Hamilton pits.

    1. Ahhhhhhhhhh the troll makes sense now, it’s a Seb fan. No wonder it’s been so salty all this time. @aliced

  13. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    22nd September 2019, 16:10

    Leclerc’s competative, but he struck me as quite whiny today. Dutch TV commentator loved it, but I think he was being childish

  14. It’s like Kimi’s win in Austin last year. Raikkonen & Vettel reunited next year at Alfa?

  15. Ferrari probably forgot to tell Leclerc to speed up just like they did in Canada after Vettel’s penalty.

  16. I thought his whinging was a bit unbecoming and childish to be honest. Nothing was stopping him passing him. I like the guy but every time, he whines.

    1. @rocketpanda Yes because there was an abundance of overtakes showing how feasible an overtake on a similarly paced car is at this track … oh wait …

  17. Oh, come on, Charles, you will have plenty of opportunities to beat Vettel (if he doesn’t quit).
    No need to react today like you did *though it is understandable considering your age and inexperience).

    Just let it sink in, everything will be fine.

    1. LeClerc DOES beat Vettel. If Ferrari had a better management team, LeClerc would have 1 or 2 more wins. Vettel is a no 2 driver at best.

  18. I agree with Leclerc that it’s not ‘fair’, but not everything can be predicted entirely accurately, and I don’t think Ferrari would have done it if they’d known Vettel would emerge ahead.

    One supposes an accidental shafting may hurt less than a deliberate one.

    1. @neilosjames Why would they not do it if they had predicted Vettel to come out in front? They wanted a 1-2 and this strategy was pretty much the only way they were going to secure that 1-2.

      1. @f1osaurus

        Why would they not do it if they had predicted Vettel to come out in front? They wanted a 1-2 and this strategy was pretty much the only way they were going to secure that 1-2.

        Vettel didn’t have to come out in front of Leclerc, but just sufficiently close to him so that he’d manage to undercut Hamilton at least. That’s more likely the thinking that went into Seb’s pit call, and that’s what Ferrari might have had in mind regarding a 1-2 finish. As other users have pointed out, I doubt Ferrari intended Vettel to undercut Leclerc as well.

        1. @neutronstar That wasn’t the question. Neither was it implied by my answer.

  19. Clear that Ferrari wants Vettel as #1, no matter if his team mate is actually faster.
    If I was Leclerc I’d send my manager to talk to Red Bull and Mercedes now.

  20. I woul stand by my decision if I was Binotto. It turned out very well for the team because of a tiny bit of luck and good pace from Vettel, and I would be frustrated if I was the other driver like Leclerc was. It didn’t go his way today and he has a right to be angry. Part of the job. Moving on.

  21. Vettel can only win when Ferrari is the dominant car AND they force LeClerc to finish 2nd. Vettel is a loser. PERIOD.

  22. I think Charles distress comes from the fact that he won pole and was in control of the race pace just like Ferrari asked him to do. Then they turned around and used it against him to pit Vettle first. Track position is paramount here because of the overheating the cars suffer from. Ferrari were soothing the bruised ego of a fading star in my opinion. Vettle acted so overjoyed to win when in reality it was handed to him. So Charles was not being immature by complaining, he actually said they would discuss it later on. Just more Italian politics from Ferrari.

  23. I think it was a bit short-sighted of Ferrari to not swap the drivers around at the end. They were happier to give Vettel a nice motivational boost than to think about the driver’s championship which, although highly unlikely, is still winnable. Leclerc is ahead of Vettel on points and about 96 points behind Hamilton – after the Singapore race. There are 6 races left this season. You really do never know what might happen and you should fight as if you can win it to the end.

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