“Frustrated” Leclerc on Q2 exit and bad tyre call: “We are just making our life way too difficult”

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Not for the first time in 2023 or recent memory, Ferrari are facing scrutiny for calls made during a critical qualifying session during a Grand Prix weekend.

Today it was the turn of Charles Leclerc to once again vent his frustration at the team.

In Q2, there was a critical period where the track was just about dry enough to use the soft tyre. Team radio played on the world feed meant we heard Leclerc urging to box to switch from inters to dries. Instead, they copied Verstappen.

Leclerc failed to deliver the lap required when he did change to softs and could only manage P11 in qualifying. Other drivers did manage to go faster around that time, it must be noted.

The 25-year-old explained the radio message and his frustration afterwards as a great opportunity to potentially fight for pole or the front row slipped way.

“I called for slicks on the out lap, it was clearly [time] for slicks.

“The track was dry, I think Alex did that and went earlier than everybody on the slicks. That was clearly the right choice, there were no risks taken or whatsoever.

“But for some reason, the team decided otherwise. I think we are just making our life way too difficult in those situations. I had a clear opinion. We decided to do something else. I am frustrated.

“Having said that, other drivers did the same strategy as us and went through to Q3.

“You are just relying on small details instead of an easy Q2 going through when the track is dry, you need slick tyres. I don’t know what happened.”

Leclerc has faced criticism in the past for not leading from the front and dictating strategy from the car. Today he did and got overruled, however.

The Monegasque driver will be talking with the team internally as they once again let their drivers down.

As the Williams of Alex Albon showed, the pace was there after a couple of laps on softs to go faster than on the inters in that brief period before heavy rain arrived again.

“I think there was no clearer way of me expressing myself this time.

“I will speak internally with the team and try to understand what we can do. It’s obviously not the first time in those situations that we are on the wrong side.

“I have no idea what lap times Alex is doing in terms of the slicks, maybe he is five seconds off, I don’t know. I had a clear opinion, obviously Alex was fast.

“I have to understand what was the target in doing that, what was the aim. The track was dry.”

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari