Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Singapore, 2019

Vettel vs Leclerc: Complete Ferrari Singapore team radio transcript

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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How did Ferrari end up handing victory in the Singapore Grand Prix from one driver to another?

Was Charles Leclerc given the chance to win the race? How did the team react when he asked them if it was their plan to leave Sebastian Vettel ahead?

Many RaceFans readers have asked in the comments and via social media to see more of what went on in the team’s radio discussions during the race. So by popular demand, here’s the full transcript of the radio communications to both drivers from lights out until the cars were back in parc ferme.

The race began with Leclerc leading Lewis Hamilton and Vettel from pole position. As Leclerc explained afterwards, Ferrari’s tactics at this stage were to run a deliberately slow pace. This kept the field bunched up tightly behind them, leaving no gaps for their rivals to make a pit stop, come out in clear air, and use their fresher tyres to ‘undercut’ the Ferraris.

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
1To Vettel:K2 off
1To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.4.
1To Vettel:You are OK to attack again, higher SOC position
1Vettel:What was that?
1To Vettel:You are OK to attack again, higher SOC position
1To Vettel:Push the red button once.
2To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.2.
2To Vettel:Do not touch the oil button. Oil fine for now.
3To Leclerc:DRS enabled
3To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.5.
3Leclerc:Yeah, let me know
3To Vettel:DRS is enabled. Verstappen 0.9 behind, one second behind.
3To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.3.
3To Leclerc:Hamilton behind 1.1 seconds.
3To Vettel:Verstappen one second behind. Current lap time 48.5
4To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.4.
4Leclerc:Is pace OK like this?
4To Leclerc:Target 49.5
4To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
4To Vettel:Verstappen one second behind. Target lap time 49.5
5To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
5To Vettel:Verstappen 1.1 behind. Current lap time 49.4.
5To Vettel:Verstappen 1.3 behind, no DRS.
5To Leclerc:K1 plus available if you need it. Hamilton with DRS.
6To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
6To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS again.
6To Vettel:Verstappen (unclear) lap time 49.3.
6To Leclerc:And this pace is good. Hamilton behind at 1.1.
7To Vettel:Verstappen one second behind. Charles lap time (unclear).
7To Leclerc:Hamilton behind with DRS.
7To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
8To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
8To Vettel:Verstappen 1.1 behind with DRS. Charles 49.2.
9To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
9To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS. Tyre phase update when you can.
10To Vettel:Verstappen 0.8 behind, Charles lap time 9.7. Update your tyre switch when you can.

As the pit stops drew nearer, Ferrari began to reduce the lap time target. However they did so very slowly: The 1’48.5 target Leclerc was given on lap 15 was still over a second slower than Nico Hulkenberg had gone on lap four.

Leclerc initially lapped slightly quicker than that target, then backed off. His average lap time between the instruction and his pit stop was 1’48.7.

However the team was still biding its time. By this stage a gap had opened up behind Leclerc which Ferrari could have brought him into, as they confirmed on lap 16, but for now they left him out.

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LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
10To Leclerc:Target lap time 49.0
10Leclerc:49 point two?
10To Leclerc:Point zero, point zero.
11To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.6.
12To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.6.
12To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at two seconds.
12To Leclerc:And FS4 when you can.
13To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.3.
13To Vettel:Break-up in the onboard video means some preceding messages from Vettel may have been missed.
Verstappen 1.1 behind. Last lap time 49.4. multi-function minus two clicks.
13To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.4.
13Leclerc:Let me know about the gap.
13To Leclerc:Copy.
14To Vettel:Verstappen 1.2 behind.
14To Leclerc:And Hamilton with DRS. Pit stop gap 11 seconds.
14Vettel:Are the gaps after P6 opening or not?
14To Vettel:Not opening yet. Charles will start pushing soon.
14To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
15To Leclerc:Leclerc did a 1’48.3, then a 1’47.8. Having gone under target he then backed off to a 1’49.1 and 1’49.6.
And back to mode race. Target lap time: 48.5.
15To Leclerc:And Hamilton with DRS.
15To Vettel:Update your tyre switch.
15To Leclerc:And front wing update when you can.
15Leclerc:Minus two.
16To Vettel:This refers to the lap before Leclerc’s instruction to do a 1’48.5.
Charles lap 8.7
16To Leclerc:Pit stop gap 15 seconds.
16Leclerc:I can pit?
16To Leclerc:Yes you can.
16To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.8.
17To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind two seconds.

Ferrari made the call to bring Vettel in on lap 19. They gave him the instruction at the last possible moment – turn 20, shortly before the pit entry – to guard against Hamilton ahead of him reacting by pitting.

Vettel’s pit stop was surely motivated by the fact Max Verstappen behind him had dropped back slightly, and the expectation Red Bull would pit him into the gap which had opened up. However with Leclerc still managing the pace at the front, that meant the fresh-tyre pace Vettel had on his out-lap allowed him to ‘undercut’ his team mate.

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LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
17To Vettel:Charles lap time 8.3. Update tyre switch.
17To Vettel:Verstappen 1.2 behind.
17To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.7.
18To Leclerc:Gap to Hamilton behind 1.5.
18To Vettel:Copy tyre phase. Charles lap time 7.8
18To Leclerc:Hamilton behind 1.7.
18To Vettel:Verstappen 1.5 behind.
18To Leclerc:Hamilton 1.4
18To Vettel:Verstappen two seconds behind, struggling, update on front wing when you can.
18Vettel:Go down on front wing.
18To Vettel:OK.
18To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.1.
19To Leclerc:Pit stop gap 18 seconds.
19Vettel:Go down three clicks.
19To Vettel:Copy that.
19To Vettel:Charles lap time 9.0
19To Leclerc:Hamilton behind at 1.2. Hamilton with DRS.
19To Vettel:Turn 20
Box Sebastian, box now.
19To Leclerc:Vettel pits
And Hamilton with DRS. K1 plus available if you need it.
20To Leclerc:Hamilton with DRS.
20To Vettel:In pits
Mode box, mode box.
20To Vettel:On the white line, racing Hulkenberg.
20To Vettel:Push on the out lap. You are in free air.

Leclerc wasn’t even sure he was supposed to pit when Ferrari brought him in on the next lap. His pit stop forced Hamilton to stay out, hoping in vain he might get lucky with a Safety Car.

After Leclerc rejoined and discovered Vettel was in front of him, he asked the team whether they intended to leave the cars in that order. In Hungary Vettel had jumped ahead of Leclerc via the ‘undercut’ in much the same way, but Ferrari told him to let his team mate by again. This did not happen in Singapore.

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LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
20To Leclerc:Turn 13
And mode box. Hamilton with DRS.
20To Vettel:You are racing Hamilton, and push.
20Leclerc:Box this lap or not?
20To Leclerc:Box now, box. Box now, box.
20To Leclerc:K2 on.
21To Leclerc:And reset brake balance, reset diff. Will be close on Sebastian on exit.
21To Vettel:SOC 2.
21Vettel:We cleared him already did we?
21To Vettel:Not yet. Push. Half a second.
21To Leclerc:Leclerc rejoins the track behind Vettel.
And K2 off, K2 off.
21To Vettel:SOC 2 and push.
21To Leclerc:We need to push as much as you can.
21Leclerc:Yeah but what the hell? I mean…
21To Leclerc:We are tight with Hamilton.
21To Vettel:Hamilton didn’t come in. 47.0 his lap time.
21To Leclerc:Hamilton did not pit yet.
22To Vettel:We are one second ahead, one second ahead.
22Leclerc:Is it the plan that it stays like this or what?
22To Leclerc:We’ll come back to you.
22To Leclerc:So we need to wait until Hamilton done the pit stop.
22Leclerc:OK but if I need to push more then I can, just so you know.
22To Leclerc:Copy, understood.

Stuck behind his team mate, Leclerc pointed out that his tyres were suffering. At this point the team’s sporting director Laurent Mekies entered the radio discussion, telling Leclerc “it’s all good”.

This created an degree of confusion on the pit wall – at one point Leclerc had two people taking to him at once:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
22To Vettel:You are two seconds ahead.
23To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 7.3.
23To Leclerc:Hamilton did not pit yet. Hamilton did not pit.
23Leclerc:What [unclear]?
23Leclerc:Destroying my tyres.
23To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 7.9.
23To Leclerc:Laurent Mekies
Charles it’s Laurent, take care of your tyres, the race is long, it’s all good.
24To Leclerc:I continue, I continue.
24To Leclerc:Two people spoke to Leclerc at once
At the moment we are ahead of Hamilton/The race is long, Charles, It’s all good.
24Leclerc:(Unclear, complaining that two people are talking to him)
24To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 8.5, 48.5.
25Leclerc:(Unclear) …I’ll let you know.
25To Vettel:Racing Stroll in front.
25Leclerc:I’m destroying my tyres. Not even sure if I can finish the race like this.
25To Leclerc:Copy, understood. You need to save your tyres for the end of the race.

Hamilton made his pit stop and came out well behind the Ferraris and Verstappen. Vettel and Leclerc made their way past a few midfielders who hadn’t pitted, and were now leading the field.

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
25To Vettel:You are six seconds safe to Hamilton. And save your tyres.
25To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 39.1.
25To Vettel:SOC 6, oil 7 to attack Stroll.
25To Vettel:Hamilton reported that his tyre are falling to bits.
26To Leclerc:Hamilton needs to pit. Hamilton still needs to pit.
26To Leclerc:Verstappen behind at one second.
26To Vettel:Hamilton is coming in. Not critical any more to overtake Stroll. I leave it to you.
27To Leclerc:Hamilton just pitted now. And will be six seconds behind.
27To Vettel:Vettel passes Stroll.
Well done Seb. Now breathe for brakes. Next will be Ricciardo, two seconds in front.
27To Vettel:Tyres are stable. Sliding speeds are under control.
27To Leclerc:Stroll in front did not stop yet. You are racing Stroll. Used tyres.
28To Vettel:BB plus one for brake temps.
28To Vettel:Charles is still behind Stroll. Manage your brakes.
29To Leclerc:Now next car in front is Ricciardo, he still needs to box, he needs to pit now.
29To Vettel:Try to take more care of the rears on 13, one-three, and exit of three. Look after rear slips turn 13, one-three, and three.
30To Leclerc:And manage your brakes
30To Vettel:Brake balance minus one click.
30To Vettel:Giovinazzi next. Giovinazzi lap time 8.7, 48.7.
31To Leclerc:And we need to manage brakes when you can.
31To Vettel:We are in free air now. No one in front.
31To Leclerc:So you are racing Gasly in front, he still needs to pit.
31To Vettel:Reset your tyre phase, Save your tyres.
31Vettel:Which tyre was the limitation, stint before?
31To Vettel:Was the rear-right.
32To Vettel:SOC 6.
32To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 48.8, he’s out on hard.
32To Leclerc:Now racing Giovinazzi in front, he still needs to pit.
32To Vettel:Focus on 13, where you are, in exit, for slips. And also turn three again.
33To Vettel:Multi-function plus three clicks.
33To Leclerc:And now Sebastian in front is at 6.6 and his lap time is 46.9.
33To Vettel:Charles is 6.5 behind.
33To Leclerc:And we need engine two, engine two. Think about tyres for the end of the race.
34To Vettel:And engine two. Charles lap time 6.6.
34To Leclerc:Press oil button when you can, press oil button.

A collision between Romain Grosjean and George Russell left the Williams in the wall. A Safety Car could only hurt Vettel’s race at this point, and he made it clear he didn’t think one was necessary. Race control disagreed, however.

Another disagreement was going on in his team mate’s car, as Leclerc continued to make his feelings known about the team’s tactics:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
34To Leclerc:Sebastian lap time: 46.0.
35To Vettel:Charles lap time 5.2, Verstappen lap time 5.9, he is three seconds behind Charles, and Hamilton six seconds behind Verstappen.
35To Leclerc:And think about tyres for the end of the race. Places to save: turn three and 21.
36To Leclerc:And think about tyres for the end of the race.
36To Vettel:Grosjean and Russell collide, leaving Russell’s car in the barrier at turn eight.
Double yellow turn eight. Could be a Safety Car. Exit in turn eight someone in the barrier.
36Vettel:Ah it’s fine, we don’t need a Safety Car there.
36To Vettel:Copy. No need of Safety Car.
36To Leclerc:There will be a yellow turn seven. Double yellow turn eight. Debris at the left-hand side.
36To Vettel:Safety Car, stay out. Charles…
36Vettel:Where do we come out if we pit?
36To Vettel:Lose four positions. Stay out.
36To Leclerc:Safety Car deployed.
36Leclerc:Do you think we can box?
36To Leclerc:Stay positive. Staying out. Slow button on.
36To Vettel:And engine one, pre-select.
36To Leclerc:You can press engine one and work on the tyres.
37To Vettel:Try to work on your tyres to keep them in temperature, especially the fronts.
37To Vettel:Verstappen and Hamilton stayed out.
37To Leclerc:Everyone stayed out.
37To Vettel:Hamilton lap time was a 45.4, he’s on hards.
37Leclerc:To be completely honest with you I don’t understand at all the undercut. But whatsoever I will discuss after the race. Anyway.
37To Leclerc:Laurent Mekies
Charles it was the best thing we could do. Head down, the race is long. Let’s concentrate on Safety Car. You are doing a super job. Watch your tyres and head down.
37Leclerc:Yeah my head is down and it will be down until the race. But I just want to let you know my feeling.
37To Leclerc:Laurent Mekies
Yeah it’s all good, Charles. You will understand after the race.
37Leclerc:Then we can fight, right?
37To Leclerc:Pause
Don’t risk anything. You can attack, but don’t risk anything.
37To Vettel:Multi-function mix position 11.
37To Vettel:We will be racing Charles at the restart. Give each other space, don’t take any risks. I have a RB multi-function by RB position change for you. Position five.
38To Leclerc:You need to work more on the tyres to have them ready.
38To Vettel:Antonio Giovinazzi was peanlised for driving too close to the crane.
There’s a crane at turn eight, be careful, stay to the right at turn eight.
38To Leclerc:There is a crane at turn eight. Watch for the crane at turn eight. Stay to the right. There is a crane there.
38To Leclerc:And try to heat up your rear brakes with brake balance.
38To Vettel:Try to work more on your tyres.
39To Leclerc:We need multi-function position mix 10. You are doing a good job with the tyres.
39To Vettel:Work more on your tyres.

Ferrari were clearly concerned Leclerc might do something rash when the race restarted and he had the opportunity to attack his team mate:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
39To Vettel:Lapped cars may now overtake, will be only Sainz from behind.
39To Leclerc:Lapped car may overtake now, will be Sainz.
39To Vettel:Sainz at turn 13.
39To Vettel:Sainz behind you, watch your mirrors, let him by. Keep working on your tyres.
39To Leclerc:Sainz is coming now, he may overtake. And try to work on the front tyres. You can reset your brake balance.
40To Leclerc:Suggestion SOC 7. Safety Car in the lap. And K2 on.
40To Leclerc:Laurent Mekies
OK Charles we are P1 and P2. You have Verstappen and Hamilton behind. No risk at all, please.
40To Leclerc:Keep working on your tyres, mainly the fronts. Safety Car in this lap, we’ll need K2 on. Remember brake balance.
40To Vettel:22 laps to go. Safety Car in this lap. We need K2 on.
40To Vettel:Keep working on your tyres.
41To Vettel:K2 on for the start.
41To Leclerc:The race restarts.
K2 off
41To Vettel:Charles is one second behind.
43To Vettel:There’s 19 laps to go, and manage your tyres to the end.
44To Leclerc:Yellow at turn 13.
44To Leclerc:Yellow at turn 13.
44To Vettel:Hamilton lap time 46.5 and Verstappen 45.8.
44To Leclerc:Be careful there’s a guy working on the road. Safety Car deployed. Slow button on.
44To Leclerc:Stay out, work on your tyres.
44To Vettel:Yellow flag turn 13, car stopped there in exit. Safety Car, stay out. Charge button on.
44To Leclerc:And we need secondary RB position five.
45To Vettel:Tyres (unclear)
45To Vettel:Stay positive. Staying out. Slow button on.

Leclerc was reminded again to take care if he went after Vettel:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
45To Leclerc:There’s a crane on track at turn 14.
45To Leclerc:You can preselect mode FW. There is a crane at turn 14.
45To Vettel:Multi B white RB position seven. Crane out of 14.
45To Leclerc:And for the restart we do SOC 7 again. That will help.
45Leclerc:For now I have SOC 6.
45To Leclerc:Copy.
45Leclerc:I want everything. Even engine mode.
45To Leclerc:Laurent Mekies
Charles we need to bring the car home. We need to manage the PU and bring the car home.
45Leclerc:Yeah, yeah, no problem.
45Leclerc:I won’t do anything stupid. 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.
46To Vettel:You can go to mode FW.
46To Leclerc:Need to heat up the brakes.
46To Leclerc:And try to work on the front tyres.
46To Vettel:Push the red button.
47To Vettel:You are doing a good job with tyres now, better than before, good job.
47To Leclerc:Safety Car in this lap. Try to do some full throttle at the end. We know it’s difficult but try to do it. And we need secondary RB position one.
47To Leclerc:Try to work on the front tyres.
47To Vettel:Safety Car in this lap, reset your multi positions.
47To Vettel:And we’ll be K2 on.
47To Vettel:Try to clean it out of nine and 13.
47To Vettel:Think about your brake balance settings for the start.
48To Vettel:Reminder K2 on.
48To Leclerc:The race restarts again.
K2 off.

The Safety Car came out again. Leclerc was briefly concerned they might not hit the lap time delta because of how much Vettel had backed off.

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
49To Leclerc:K1 plus available.
49To Vettel:Multi-function BO position nine, Charles 1.3 behind.
50To Leclerc:12 laps to go. And DRS enabled.
50To Leclerc:K1 plus available.
50To Leclerc:Safety Car deployed. Stay positive. Slow button on. Stay positive. Staying out, staying out.
50Leclerc:We are way over the target. Can Seb go?
50To Leclerc:We’ll come back to you.
50To Leclerc:And we need secondary RB position five.
50To Leclerc:The incident was at turn two, one and two.
51To Vettel:Safety Car again, was a contact at turn one, stay positive. Charge button on. And stay out.
51To Leclerc:Keep working the tyres.
51To Vettel:Stay positive. Contact between Kimi and Kvyat at turn one.
51To Vettel:Keep working on your tyres as you did before.
51To Leclerc:You are doing a good job with the tyres. Safety Car in this lap. Secondary RB position one. And we will need K2 on.
51To Leclerc:We’ll need K2 on. Safety car in this lap.
51To Vettel:Safety Car in this lap. Will be K2 on at the start.
52To Vettel:And K2 on.
52To Vettel:K2 off.
52To Leclerc:Nine laps to go, nine laps.
53To Leclerc:Use K1 plus, not K1, K1 plus.

There were fewer messages over the run to the chequered flag:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
53To Vettel:Nine laps to go.
54To Leclerc:And DRS enabled.
55To Leclerc:Use K1 plus to defend.
55To Vettel:Focus on turn 13 exit, where you are, for rear tyre slips.
55To Leclerc:We need to manage the power unit. Use K1 plus to defend.
55Leclerc:I need to use (unclear).
56To Leclerc:Verstappen behind at two seconds, Sebastian in front one point (unclear).
56To Vettel:Turn 13 was better last lap, better at turn 13, well done.
56To Vettel:You’ve just done the fastest lap. Six to go.
56To Leclerc:We need multi-function mix 11.
57To Vettel:Multi-function mix position 12 when you can.
57To Vettel:Charles lap time 5.3, Bottas 5.0.
58To Vettel:Multi B green mode position nine. Don’t take any risks.
58To Leclerc:And we need secondary MOD position nine.
59To Vettel:Three to go.
59To Vettel:(Unclear, update on fastest lap times)
60To Leclerc:We need engine four. Two laps to go.
60To Vettel:Engine four.
61To Leclerc:This is last lap. SOC 1.
61To Vettel:Last lap.
61To Vettel:Torque one is available.

Team principal Mattia Binotto came on the radio to speak to both drivers after they took the chequered flag, though their moods contrasted sharply:

LapExchangeMessage (notes in italics)
Post-raceTo Vettel:Yes Sebastian! P1. Nice job. One and two for Ferrari. Aweseome job. Well done.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:Chequered flag.
Slow button on. P2.
Post-raceLeclerc:Yeah, I know. It’s OK. We speak later.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:Copy, understood.
Post-raceTo Vettel:And cool the brakes.
Post-raceVettel:Grazie ragazzi. Grande gara. Forza Ferrari sempre. Grazie mille. Un saluto a Maranello, grazie per i pezzi. Che performance qui a Singapore, grazie. La macchina è stata grande, quasi come voi. (Thank you guys. Great race. Forward Ferrari always. Thanks a lot. Greetings to Maranello, thanks for the updates What a performance here in Singapore, thanks. The car was great, like you.) Thank you guys, all of you.
Post-raceTo Vettel:Mattia Binotto
Seb, contentissimo per te. (Seb, I am very happy for you.) Bravo, bravo, bravo.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:Bravo Charles. Sono Mattia. Sono contento anche per te. Adesso vai a podio e giosci. (Bravo Charles. It’s Mattia. I am happy also for you. Now go to the podium and enjoy.)
Post-raceTo Leclerc:Punto. (Full stop.)
Post-raceTo Vettel:Enjoy the fireworks. Here is awesome as usual. You are the lion of Singapore. How many wins do you have? Many.
Post-raceVettel:Five, five.
Post-raceTo Vettel:Five for car number five.
Post-raceVettel:Exactly, grazie.
Post-raceTo Vettel:Well done.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:And you need to go into the pit lane and under the podium.
Post-raceLeclerc:Yeah, OK.
Post-raceTo Vettel:And go in the pit lane.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:And go to P0, P0.
Post-raceTo Leclerc:Go to P0, P0.

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Author information

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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50 comments on “Vettel vs Leclerc: Complete Ferrari Singapore team radio transcript”

  1. Thanks Keith for this article, very interesting conversations indeed.

    If I may, one fellow Italian usually writes an (amazing) article following each GP by going in deep details after reviewing the race from both cockpits. He has a very good understanding of the dynamics between drivers and engineers and knowledge of Ferrari’s steering wheel commands.

    Anyway, here’s the article for Singapore:

    Indeed it’s in Italian. Here’s a link to translate it with Google:

    1. @m-bagattini – I presume you’re a native Italian speaker. Would you be able to give a small summary of the article in English? i.e. the key points, conclusions, etc.

      While Google Translate is an impressive technical feat, it cannot (yet) capture the nuances of human conversation, which means subtleties can often get lost in translation – which can be crucial in an article talking about the human dynamics of a race team.

      e.g. a simple example, the translation provided states: “Vettel makes a turn that I expected to see from a redhead of many, too many Grand Prix riders.” I suspect the author is referring by “redhead” to “hot headedness” and not Vettel’s hair colour :)

      1. Don frika del prima
        25th September 2019, 15:52

        I suggest you use it has a lot less languages, but it is a lot better. Keeps grammar rules in mind etc

      2. It’s roughly “Vettel makes a lap that I wanted to see from a Ferrari since many GPs”. He wants to say that Vettel’s out lap was an awesome, near perfect lap.

        “Rossa” (red) is referred to the car’s colour (the red car, in English…)

      3. I’m Japanese, but I always enjoy reading his article. It’s really informative and fascinating.

        The point is, he doesn’t try to make any conclusions, just tell us what he saw on the onboards and what was said on the radio, with some analysis (and his educated analysis is spot on!). So it’s difficult to make a “small” summary.

        If I pick one point which relates to this Vettel-was-favoured theory, he points out what they did “not” say. Ferrari usually tell drivers fake mapping change to let drivers know pit stop is imminent without letting know their rivals, but they didn’t do this in this race. So he says it is more natural to think that they simply reacted Verstappen, as Binotto said.

        I use Google Translation to read his article. As you say, there are some parts that don’t make sense, for those parts I use DeepL.

        As Don frika del prima says, DeepL is great. That “readhead” part is translated like this: Vettel completes a lap that I expected to see from a Red from many, too many Grand Prix. In short, Vettel’s out lap was brilliant as the author had expected from him for a long time.

        1. Thank you @megumi and Don frika del prima. DeepL, first I’ve heard of it, but with both your endorsements, I’m definitely bookmarking it!

      4. @phylyp I agree with @megumi, It’s a bit difficult to summarize. I just want to emphasize the part where he looked everything from Max’s perspective. He followed him during the three laps preceding Seb’s pitstop, noticing an increasing difficulty for Max to keep the tires in the working range, sliding and basically giving away the fact that he was going to pit.

    2. Great article, thanks!

  2. Thanks for the radio transcripts. I still have a hollow feeling that CL was hard done by once again by Ferrs…..

    1. They want him to know without any doubt who is in charge and that for all his talent he doesn’t call the shots.
      Imagine if he went to Merc or RB not that Max would want that!

      1. Fascinating transcript!
        Amazing skulduggery!
        Thank you Keith

  3. Contrary to all the people calling him a moaner and telling him to get over it, I think Leclerc comes across as pretty mature in these exchanges. Obviously not happy about the strategy, but he isn’t effing and blinding over the radio like many would be.

  4. Does anyone know what the “oil button” is that the Ferrari pit wall referenced on multiple occasions? It seems they can manually set an oil number (pitwall to Vettel lap 25) and have a manual oil button (pitwall to Leclerc lap 34).

    My only idea is that they have a system (ice?) that can run with little to no oil and they can use the oil they save for either a performance or reliability gain. There’s also the possibility that they’ve named the system ‘oil’ simply to hide from Mercedes with what that system is and does – a provocative nod to oil burning?

    1. I think it is reference to the button that transfers oil from the reserve oil tank. You can see it clearly in this photo (marked “Oil”)..though this is the SF71H not the SF90:

      Red Bulls in the Vettel world championship era had a similar button.

      1. Don’t tell me Ferrari are back to their old ploy of burning oil to boost their combustion. I thought they outlawed that?

        ’25To Vettel: SOC 6, oil 7 to attack Stroll.’

        This kind of speaks for itself. Are the stewards turning a blind eye to this now?

  5. Is this official transcript? Cause on lap 15 what I heard was Leclerc asking if he can push not if he can pit which the team answer yes. This is also confirmed by Anthony Davidson and Sky team saying Leclerc was just been told he can push.

    I admit the radio transmission is a bit garbled but asking if he can pit and the team answer yes but then he didn’t pit us even more confusing. Cause this mean it was Leclerc decision and he was given the first option anyway.

  6. I really still can’t see it, it terms of a plan to gift Vettel a victory. No such thing. They were covering Max and hoping to undercut Lewis, no one seriously thought he would undercut Charles – why would they pit him in the next lap if that were the plan?
    To switch the cars afterwards might have been somewhat fair, but the consequences would be too negative for the team. And since none of them are driving for the title, fair enough, I would say.

    1. @magon4 Well they could at least have told Leclerc what was happening, but they didn’t and that meant Leclerc wasn’t as fast on his in-lap as he could have been.

      1. Agreed. but they were not monitoring that.

      2. Please recheck the transcript, they did informed Chares the Seb is in pit before they box him.

        1. @ahmedschomi No, they didn’t.

          1. Alexander Nicklisch
            26th September 2019, 2:40


            Could you please explain why you think that Charles backed off as you claim here and in several of your articles? It is contrary to what Charles stated, saying that it did not matter whether or not they team had told him that Seb had pitted, because he could not have gone any faster due “pretty dead tyres”. This was also Mercedes’s assessment (from their pure pitwall segment (1:30)); they say to their surprise Charles tyres fell apart almost as soon as he started pushing. And this is precisely how I read your lap times chart: it makes a lot more sense that his laps times crept back up after starting to push because his tyres were dropping off, not because he started to take it easy.

          2. @keithcollantine, I’d like to ask you the same thing as Alexander Nicklisch.

            In the script, on lap 15, they said to Leclerc “back to mode race”. You might think that it was to slow down Leclerc, but I think the opposite.

            They said “back to” because on lap 12 they told him to change the mode to “FS4”. According to Alex Brunetti, who wrote this article ( @m-bagattini mentioned earlier, “FS4” stands for “Fuel Saving 4″. This mode is sometimes used to save tyres. If that the case, ” back to mode race. Target lap time: 48.5.” means “stop tyre saving and start pushing”.

            Was the Leclerc’s radio on lap 16 not “I can pit?” but “I can push?” by any chance?

      3. No, because they were racing Hamilton, and it was not crucial information. Leclerc was told after the stop that they need to push as much as he could so that he would not be overcut by Hamilton.

        I believe one of the reasons Ferrari didn’t pit Leclerc first was because Hamilton seemed to have more pace in hand on the old tires. If Leclerc had pitted earlier, Hamilton would have got clean air and Leclerc might have been overcut, at least they thought so at the time. Leclerc started pushing on lap 15, but he couldn’t maintain that pace because his tires were finished already after 3 laps.

        In the press conference after the race, when Leclerc was asked had he known Vettel had pitted, he had more pace, he said that “the tyres were quite dead” at that time.

        1. Alexander Nicklisch
          26th September 2019, 2:53


          That’s right they thought both cars were racing Hamilton, and probably had not expected Charles tyres to drop as quickly as they did since he had been controlling the pace for the first 15 laps. (After all, Hamilton was able to push the tyres for 6 more laps in spite of the fact that he had been in dirty air for the previous 20 laps.)

          Obviously, Seb benefited from the strategy. But Keith’s theory that “If they’d told Leclerc his team mate was pitting, he might have found the few tenths he needed to stay ahead” does not hold water. Neither does it seem that Ferrari were intentionally keeping Leclerc in the dark (what motivation would they have to do that?), nor was it the case that Leclerc wasn’t pushing. His tyres were just shot. And perhaps he did not drive a good first stint – he bunched up the field, drove to the target time, but didn’t manage his tyres well enough to be able to push towards the end of the stint the way Hamilton did last year.

        2. How could it not have been crucial information when Lewis was less than a second behind Charles?

          1. KGN11, sorry for causing confusion. What I said ‘not crucial information’ was the fact that Vettel had pitted.

    2. Lewis was less than a second behind Charles without also undercutting him?

  7. Some were saying after the GP that Leclerc was whining too much… But from this transcript, i find him to be quite mature and reasonable. I mean, he is not happy and make sure they know it (which is what he has to do), but he didn’t push it and even reassure the team at some point.

    In my opinion, either the undercut was really more powerful than expected either Ferrari perfectly played it to get a 1-2 which is a great result for a team that looked to be spiraling down just 4 GP ago. I do tend to believe the second option is the right one. So not fair to Leclerc, but was the right thing to do for Ferrari.

    1. “Some were saying after the GP that Leclerc was whining too much…”
      As usual British media.

      1. British media? Is this sarcasm?

        1. @john-h – it’s entertaining, that’s for sure. :)

          Right now, Keith’s being accused of bias against Vettel. Not too long ago, other commenters were hurling allegations of his bias against Hamilton. With Max being another star, I’d say give ’em time, Keith will soon pick up the trifecta of bias against Max as well.

          1. @gongtong – ah, how could I have forgotten that? Thank you :)

            So, wow, Keith’s actually collected the whole set, and nobody said a thing! ;)

  8. @keithcollantine moments before Vettel is told to pit Verstappen is told to pit on his radio. At that moment I thought Ferrari was covering Verstappen but indeed it may probably be for both Verstappen and Hamilton.

  9. I don’t know what the answer is, but the transcripts alone are further evidence of the pinnacle of motorsport’s cars and drivers tootling along seconds off the pace to conserve tyres and engines.

    Instead of trialling new weekend and qualifying formats next season, give the manufacturers a ‘free’ engine and enough decent tyres at a track to blast around attacking at qualifying speeds (albeit with fuel onboard) and let’s see what that looks like.

    1. F1 is no different now to what it’s always been. They have never been driving flat out at qualifying speeds in races & have always needed to drive to manage the car/tyres & they don’t even need to do that as much as they used to when they needed to manage far more things.

    2. I don’t know what the answer is, but the transcripts alone are further evidence of the pinnacle of motorsport’s cars and drivers tootling along seconds off the pace to conserve tyres and engines.

      To be fair, Singapore is an extreme case. Contrast that with Spa, for instance, where Leclerc said virtually nothing all race.

  10. Yuck it reads like an operating table discussion. This is not the pinnacle of Motorsport that the world deserves.

    F1 should be flat out controlled aggression lap after lap with drivers barely able to talk, not cruising around as slow as possible to keep to a delta time and caring more about which button setting they should be in. Its completely lost the plot!

    1. F1 should be flat out controlled aggression lap after lap

      But F1 has never been that, There has always & will always be management of different parts of the car to varying degrees.

      There isn’t even as much management now as there used to be when drivers had to take care of engines, gearboxes, clutches, brakes & the tyres.

      There was something repeated in different ways by many of the greats of the past (Fangio, Stewart, Clark, Lauda & Prost to name a few) that was that F1 is about winning while going at the slowest possible speed. That is as true now as it’s always been & anyone that thinks car/tyre/engine management & driving ‘to a delta’ are new things clearly haven’t been following F1 that long.

  11. Is there anything in the regulation that requires teams to use English over their radios?

    1. @knewman No.

      Most of the time they do because English is a language that a majority of those in the paddock understand. However there are engineer’s at Ferrari who listen to the radio comms both at the track & back at Maranello who only speak Italian so there is some internal radio communication at Ferrari that is Italian (Think its the same at STR actually).

      And while rare there have been instances in the past of drivers not been fluent in English.

      1. “You will not have the drink, Kimi” :D

  12. Thanks for this transcript that shows the win was got fairly, but the cry baby won’t be happy.

    1. Evidence of cry baby?

      Or is it personal bias and assumptions?

  13. 20 To Vettel: You are racing Hamilton, and push.

    Either you believe this or not. The only line that matters if you’re thinking if the undercut to Charles was intentional or not.

  14. Another Transcript, is there a smoking gun about Ukraine….oops wrong article.

  15. I miss the team radio transcripts you used to provide after each race on the website Keith. Any possiblity you may resurrect this?

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