Leclerc: Ferrari have made changes in response to Silverstone Safety Car episode

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says Ferrari have made changes in reaction to the team’s handling of the Safety Car period at the British Grand Prix, where he lost a shot at victory.

Ferrari told Leclerc not to pit from the lead when the Safety Car was deployed with 13 laps to go in Sunday’s race. However they brought in his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr, who was running three seconds behind him, and fitted a fresh set of tyres.

Sainz was then able to pass Leclerc for the lead. Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton also pitted under the Safety Car and subsequently passed Leclerc, leaving the former leader in fourth place at the flag.

“We went through the strategy, obviously, and there are definitely things that we could have done better because obviously we were first and second, we finished first and fourth,” Leclerc told media at the Red Bull Ring today. “But we know where we did the mistakes and I hope that we can grow from that.”

Leclerc said there was “nothing I could have done differently” on the day to ensure victory, but Ferrari has already adjusted its operational procedures in reaction to the lost win.

“As a team we have changed already a few things just in the way of the communication throughout the race to be ready in that particular moment,” Leclerc explained. “Because once the Safety Car is out then you need to take a decision there and if you’re not ready for that, then it is tricky. So as a team we have changed a few things and I won’t go too much in detail.”

He lies third in the championship, 43 points behind leader Max Verstappen, going into this weekend’s race at the Red Bull Ring. Leclerc said he is hoping for a trouble-free weekend in Austria.

“I love this track,” Leclerc enthused. “We’ve been competitive in the past. It’s a track that reminds me a little bit of the karting days, a very short track.

“I really hope we can be competitive. We’ve been competitive in the past but I just hope that now we have a clean weekend and that we finally get can get on top of our things.”

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2022 Austrian Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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9 comments on “Leclerc: Ferrari have made changes in response to Silverstone Safety Car episode”

  1. Well, we’ll see what was changed and whether it finally helps Ferrari make the right calls in time. They really need that (have needed it for years now).

    1. Well, well, well, Ferrari used to make changes after mistakes, in order do make even bigger mistakes.

    2. @bascb in Ross Brawn’s book he mentions how he used to come up with race scenarios for the strategists and ask what they would do in such and such situation, to see if they’ve prepared well for any eventuality. I honest to God assumed that was very common practice among all teams at this point. Silverstone made me doubt that.

      1. Yeah, I think there is a good reason why we all remember Ross as one of those who makes the difference on race strategy (amongst other things) @xenn1. And Ferrari has clearly gone out of their way to make sure the team was rebuilt over and over again to get rid of “old ideas” from the Todt/Brawn era.

        Since then it has never seemed they were able to replace that with something new that actually works when it counts.

  2. People are being to harsh on Ferrari: the Safety car and the different tyres are a new thing – we cant expect they they are ready for the situation emerging from that in less than ten years. Maybe after 2030 they will have the proper procedures. They already know how to work with radios.

  3. What’s the betting we see a safety car this weekend, Leclerc gets priority, pits first and somehow still comes off worse.

    1. Still not sure if I should laugh, or merely admit you’re probably right there.

  4. Because once the Safety Car is out then you need to take a decision there and if you’re not ready for that, then it is tricky.

    So Leclerc confirmed my doubts that Ferrari have been approaching race weekends like amateurs that are going to race for the first time in their lives. Unbelievable !

    1. Charlie Racing
      8th July 2022, 6:27

      This indeed sounds very scary – compare that with Red Bull stating 2 weeks ago they simulate over 1 million simulations of the race before going in the weekend.

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