Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Leclerc impressed by Binotto’s handling of Baku crash

2019 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc praised Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto’s handling of his crash during qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Leclerc’s crash during Q2, after he led all the previous four sessions, cost the team one of its best chances to win a race before the summer break. He said Binotto, who took over in charge of Ferrari at the beginning of the season, “really analysed the situation very well.”

“[In] Baku obviously after the qualifying he was disappointed,” said Leclerc. “But he behaves differently with all the persons.

“He knows I’m very, very hard on myself and he adapts to it. So that’s why maybe I think he could have been harsher, he wanted to be harsher, but he saw how much I put myself down and didn’t.

“The only thing he was trying to do is to put myself up again which was very nice. There have been a few examples during the season like also in Germany where he has been there to help me to become a better driver after a low moment.”

Binotto had some pointed words for Leclerc on the radio following his victory in Monza, when he told his driver he was “forgiven”, and in Singapore, where an unhappy Leclerc was told to “enjoy” his visit to the podium. Binotto later publicly rebuked Leclerc for saying things that “should not be said on the radio”.

However Leclerc insists he has a positive relationship with his team boss.

“As a person I think we’re getting along very very well,” he said. “[He’s] a very calm person which I think is needed in an environment like Formula 1 where you’re always excited, everything goes so quick. To have a person that you can count on that is calm is always important.

“As a boss he’s just very similar to the person he is and I think that’s important too. But he can also be harsh when he needs to be and I think that’s all you need once you are a boss.”

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2019 F1 season

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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
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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8 comments on “Leclerc impressed by Binotto’s handling of Baku crash”

  1. Would you blame Leclerc? What about who choose to use ice blocks for tyres?

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      23rd October 2019, 9:43

      Bottas won the race on ice blocks…. You don’t have to crash because you are using these tyres ;)

      1. @thegianthogweed

        He is talking about the unusually low temperature tyre Ferrari has provided him in the qualification. Look at Leclerc’s second last lap of Q3. It’s like he’s driving in rain.

        It’s what convinces other teams more that their engine is illegal. Because, from the way they acted, it appears like they are 100% confident that Ferrari will have the fastest lap by a large margin and that the only competition for vettel was Leclerc. So, it is their “strategy” to give preference to vettel.

        Also, I guess, Hamilton’s team realized this, which is why, they opted Hamilton to chase and overtake vettel with DRS. And they now have the definitive proof of Ferrari’s super-advantage in engine that even the arguably greatest racer couldn’t overtake the Ferrari in DRS with fresher tyres.

        This is the first time ever in recent years, a car has this much delta in engine capacity.

        (If you’re the person who thinks, all of these are conspiracy theories and that vettel suddenly became Hamilton 2.0, like the claim of his fans that he had a “godly outlap in Singapore”, there’s no use for me to argue).

    2. @m-bagattini

      Vettel, after openly embarrassing them in Monchi, is still “strategically” being carried by them. They don’t act on favouritism, I guess. It’s simply that vettel with his fanbase and fat contract can be more profitable for them financially.

  2. Nothing like buttering up the boss when there is a promotion to #1 driver on the cards ;)

  3. Does LEC ever have a moment when he is not talking to the press?
    Seems even when he is engaged with other things, he is still giving out quotes: In the shower, on the loo, at the local market, in bed.
    Even Lewis has quiet down times when he is not heard from.

    1. Leclerc is the “it” man in F1. The press will be hounding him every chance they get.

  4. A bit, errr… how to put it, patronising?

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