Ferrari takes blame over costly Leclerc error in qualifying

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Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc received a three-place grid penalty post-qualifying on Saturday. Team boss Frederic Vasseur said he apologised for the miscommunication that caused the penalty.

Leclerc impeded Lando Norris in Q3 in the tunnel and dropped from third place on the grid to sixth place behind Lewis Hamilton.

The Monegasque finished the Grand Prix in P6 but remained positive after a lacklustre outing.

“Yesterday I got the information too late and that of course put us a little bit on the back foot for today.

“Of course it’s frustrating. Any weekend like this one anywhere it’s frustrating, at home it’s even more frustrating. But on the other hand that’s where we need to keep our head up.

“The season is long, it’s not the only race on the calendar even though it probably means a bit more than the others. The points are the same, so we need to restart again in Barcelona, hopefully having a great weekend that time.”

Vasseur was adamant that the Italian team wouldn’t repeat the same costly error.

“He’s been a bit frustrated in Monaco for a couple of years now and for sure yesterday was tough,” said the Frenchman.

“It was tough first to lose the pole position for one tenth or something like this, to lose the first row for two hundredths, and then the call.

“What can I do else than apologise on behalf of the team and to understand how we can do a better job, and to improve the communication between the pitwall and Charles in this condition, but on both sides.

“I think it’s also due to the circumstances where its happened, into the tunnel and so on. But okay, we have to avoid to try to find excuses because it’s the worst way if you want to improve, we just have to correct.”

The 55-year-old continued explaining the mishap: “But we made a mistake yesterday clearly and this cost us a lot because I think starting from P3 it could have been another race, but we have to learn from it.”

He added: “Honestly, I’m not looking trying to find an excuse or something like this, we have to review completely the situation tomorrow.

“I didn’t want to do it yesterday evening because we are focused on the race. But tomorrow we will have a look on this.”