Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

Leclerc accepts he ‘over reacted’ on radio and will ‘shut up’ in future

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says he has accepted he over-reacted in his radio messages during the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was surprised to discover his team mate Sebastian Vettel had jumped ahead of him when they made their pit stops during the race, which cost Leclerc victory.

Afterwards he asked the team “is it the plan that it stays like this or what?” He was told “we need to wait until Hamilton done the pit stop.”

The team kept the cars in the same order following Hamilton’s pit stop. Leclerc told them: “I don’t understand at all the undercut. But whatsoever I will discuss after the race.”

He told media in Russia today he accepted his reaction “was well over what it should be.”

“That shows that I’ve still got a lot to learn,” he continued. “So in these situations there was absolutely no need to be like this.

“The team has done the right thing. We finished first and second, we wouldn’t have finished second of first and second with another strategy. And that’s what matters the most.

“So on that I definitely got a lot to learn and a lot to improve but that won’t happen again in the future.”

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Asked whether he will keep his views to himself in future. Leclerc said: “That’s definitely the goal.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Singapore, 2019
Vettel vs Leclerc: Complete Ferrari Singapore team radio transcript
“Obviously in the car it’s always very difficult. There is a lot of adrenaline. I wake up in the morning thinking about victory I go to sleep thinking about victory so sometimes it might be hard.

“But I just need to control myself more in these situations and just, how can I say it politely, and just shut up instead of speaking on the radio. So I will learn from this and I’ll try for it to not happening.”

Leclerc believes not everyone understood his messages the way they were intended.

“I think some some people can understand how much I want to win and and some people have understood it. Some people understood it wrongly.

“But anyway as I said I think I just need to learn from that. I think there was no need for me and there’s no need to be like this on the radio any time during the race.

“Even if there’s adrenaline I think it just puts more mess than anything else so as I said I need to learn that and that’s it. As I said I think the most important is that the team has done the first and second and of that I’m very happy.”

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27 comments on “Leclerc accepts he ‘over reacted’ on radio and will ‘shut up’ in future”

  1. This is great from him. Shows that he is a class act indeed. However, people are acting like he was being childish and should just accept things. How exactly would 6-time world champion Lewis Hamilton react if Mercedes gave Bottas the undercut on him? Or worse, Rosberg? He’d start talking about German favouritism. Or Vettel, remember Multi 21? Or Alonso, or Senna, or any of the greats in F1 for that matter.

    1. Hamilton has a history of suggesting dirty tactics when he’s not winning, so i’d always take his comments with a pinch of salt. As of the likes of Vettel, Alonso or Senna, they’re all multiple world champions who are/were generally used to being the clear number one driver and as such would hardly ever accept seeing their teammates being favoured over them, Hamilton is a bit different in that regard, although not by much. Leclerc still has only 2 wins and less than 10 overall F1 podiums to his name, but he’s taking this particular event and its outcome very well and he’s showing wisdom and maturity beyond his 21 years. I’m excited to see the driver he’ll become and the legacy he’ll leave behind in the sport.

      1. Lewis has earned the right to say what he feels. Right or wrong, he has earned it. Leclerc? Not yet.
        That said, fair play to leclerc for these comments but I think Ferrari have instigated this. They never take on rookies like they have Leclerc and I’m sure as hell they will not tolerate him speaking ill of them.

    2. Leclerc is a rapid learner.

    3. Multi 21 again… do people never learn? There was a multi12 a few races before that. Webber didnt listen. That is the reason why Seb didnt listen… you can look this up you know.
      Again and again…

    4. Funny using Hamilton as an example for this

  2. Passion and drive to win when stepping into the cockpit often outweighs logic. It’s when you get out and can reflect on it, like Leclerc here, and admit when you were wrong that shows real maturity.

    1. I find his regular self-admonishment to be over the top and rather off-putting. I can’t quite decide whether it’s genuine or put on to try and come across as very humble to the public.

      A lot of the statements he makes about his mistakes don’t seem natural. If that’s just his way, then fair enough, but I think he is far more ruthless (in or out the car) than he wants people to think he is.

      1. I find his regular self-admonishment to be over the top and rather off-putting. I can’t quite decide whether it’s genuine or put on to try and come across as very humble to the public.

        Excelently put, I feel the same way about him: not sure if he’s genuine or not with some of his comments after cool-down. If this was… let’s say Ocon, there would be no doubt in my mind, but Leclerc seems like a very nice guy and I just don’t want to believe he’s a sly fox underneath his boyish looks.

        1. “Magnussen is, and will always be stupid” is my favourite quote from Leclerc so far in his career.

          Personally, I feel that it’s his approach towards life that is humble, and not necessarily his natural attitude i.e. him acting humble could be a very conscious effort on his part. He could possibly be motivated by wanting to be a “better” person, or to be liked by people in general, or both, or maybe the latter is a cause of the former.

          A counter perspective to yours, @gechichan, and @simon999 is that his humility being something seemingly unnatural, but self-enforced, is a testament to his existence as a human being, as someone seeking a better version of himself, followed by adulation from those who watch him. None of that necessitates that he be a sly fox underneath.

          This is all speculation, though. I’m as guilty as you guys. 😅

          1. as someone seeking a better version of himself, followed by adulation from those who watch him

            Or vice versa.

          2. +1 great post

          3. @neutronstar awesome post, makes perfect sense as you put it.

        2. Proof that F1 fans will hate drivers for just about anything.

          1. If you hate you are not a fan :)

          2. @ho3n3r I never said anything about hate. I really like Charles and I was only hoping not to be a fake act on his part.

  3. I like the explatatives on the radio. We can’t say everybody is so PC and then judge a normal irritation by Leclerc or the whining of Grosjean. Either we want the raw sound of what’s happening and take it as such or we might as well not have access to the radios.

    1. Well said, my thoughts exactly @tango. Hope Charles keep saying what he thinks.

  4. I’m perhaps in a minority but I quite like it when drivers get emotional and angry on the radio, especially when things don’t go their way.

    “Good loser” isn’t part of my mental picture of a top-level F1 driver, and the PR-pressed versions of the drivers, who come out after they’ve been fed whatever words the team wants them to say, are incredibly dull.

    1. Agreed. So the people criticising LEC will now get fewer passionate driver radio comments. Slow clap.

      1. Then they’ll complain that drivers these days lack personality…

  5. Imo he was a picture of self-restraint. I don’t like that he thinks he should be even more subdued. With that mentality, it’ll be easier for teammates to walk over him.

  6. Even though it comes out as a bit forced, he is right to do so. Both him and Vettel in PR. While not a particular fan, I believe that Ferrari is the hottest seat to be in f1 currently, so no reason to show the slightest signs negativity.

  7. Selfishly, it’s fun to hear the drama over the radio so if he ends up being a lot more subdued it’s a part I won’t get to enjoy as much.

    Negative internal narratives tend to be very distracting and detract from one’s focus and and ability to be present in the moment (this is really true in every worthwhile pursuit in life, including life itself). Most of what they are doing while driving is subconscious, a muscle memory pattern reinforced by thousands of hours of practice. Even overtaking maneuvers and defense become instinctual and not consciously thought about it. Setting up for a pass, watching a driver’s patterns and weaknesses ahead is more conscious, but still a very quick pattern recognition calculus rather than a philosophical discussion with yourself. This is just the reality of human neurology. Everything is happening too quickly for it to be otherwise. After the race is when you learn the most about it, when you can go over what happened and understand the events that were happening too fast to think about in the moment. To be distracted by why and how things aren’t working out for you can be seriously detrimental to your own performance. So for him, the ability to shut off those kinds of thoughts for later, stay in the moment and deal with the situation at hand is very beneficial and a great lesson to learn early on.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Charles. If we might have thought he was too placid about things before this race, we certainly know better now. His quote about waking up thinking about victory, going to sleep thinking about victory, and his aggression on track since that loss in Austria show he has the killer instinct. He makes me think of Jim Clark, who was a quiet, thoughtful, well loved, and well respected off track, and one of the two or three drivers that all of the drivers who competed against him point to as a greatest of all time driver (usually him and Fangio). I get a bit of the same vibe from Leclerc. He’s been like this since his karting days. Go find the video where he and Max got into it when they were kids and you’ll see what I mean.

  8. :D This guy is really admirable, pushing to grow at every moment. No wonder he is so fast with this rate of improvement. This kind of thinking goes in to why he is so adaptable in the car and can adjust to any poor handling the car might have.

  9. Oh please, he was told, “shut the bleep up”. His words on the radio (no matter how true and just) are the equivalent of going on national TV and saying how $£!* his Ferrari is.

    His statements here suggest otherwise, a very eloquent response. But come on, it’s not beyond something that Ferrari would and have done.

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