Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Ferrari “forgot” to tell Leclerc about Vettel’s penalty

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc was not told about his team mate’s penalty in the Canadian Grand Prix because the team “forgot”, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.

Sebastian Vettel was given a five-second time penalty for an incident with Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc gained on the pair of them in the latter stages of the race, but even as he came closer to the five-second range of Vettel, Ferrari did not let him know how close he was to claiming second place.

When RaceFans asked Leclerc whether he had been told about the penalty, Binotto interjected: “We didn’t. It has been a mistake from our side.

“I think we were very busy on the pit wall and simply we forgot. We should have done it but we didn’t.”

However Leclerc said he wouldn’t have driven any differently if he had known about Vettel’s situation.

“I was pushing very hard to catch up. I saw they were fighting, I saw they were close at least. I saw also that we were quite quick and we were catching up so I was just pushing very hard so if anything happened I had the opportunity to be as close as possible to do so. So no, it wouldn’t have changed my approach.”

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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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41 comments on “Ferrari “forgot” to tell Leclerc about Vettel’s penalty”

    1. More like ferrari dont want Leclerc to get number 2 because they want SV get more points to fight LH.

      1. more like they didnt want seb taking 3rd bollard place holder replaced with the 1st :)

  1. Sergey Martyn
    10th June 2019, 7:48

    Alzheimer hit the pit wall!

    1. More like entire team run by Schizophrenic people.

      Charles Leclerc was not told about his team mate’s penalty in the Canadian Grand Prix because the team “forgot”, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.

      Nice use of quotes, even press knows the team is lying.

  2. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    10th June 2019, 7:49

    Forgot to pit him at the right time as well, I see…

  3. That is an excuse you would expect from a bad student, not a top F1 team principal. That said, it sounds credible, given how bad Ferrari are at race management these days.

    1. @girts
      Agree with that, at first I laughed and though they were doing it to Charles again, but at a 2nd thought said, well it is Ferrari.

      I think Ferrari are being very short sighted in trying to keep Seb happy and Charles effectively no. 2 – Seb unfortunately isn’t challenging Lewis and he wont for the year, so why get your future potential team leader offside so early? Just let the boys race!

    2. @girts

      Sure Ferrari is possible of basic blunders on a regular basis, but it seems in abundance with Leclerc.

      The biggest blunder of them all is supporting Vettel over Lecerlc.

  4. They wouldn’t dare tell him.
    He has already ignored orders this season and there is a good chance he would have pushed for second place.

    1. Yep, we already saw the temper tantrum now imagine how worse it would have been if Leclrec had inherited 2nd place as well.

    2. As he should push to second place.

  5. He was 2 seconds behind Hamilton, prime for undercut… after pit stops he was 10 seconds behind.

    While Ferrari handled decently P1 strategy, they failed miserably for Leclerc. If they played their cars right, they would be able to threaten Hamilton, maybe even score a victory, but no. Vettel got emotionally damaged by the steward penalty, Leclerc had an 8s strategy penalty.

    That on one of the few races they could have won this year.

    1. @jureo dont you know that if they had pitted leclerc before hamilton, he would have been behind bottas and max? Easy to criticize that strategy because you do not see the full picture

      1. https://www.racefans.net/2019/06/10/2019-canadian-grand-prix-interactive-data-lap-charts-times-and-tyres/

        Not according to this, with good inlap, he would be just infront. The real reason was, they were afraid of undercutting Vettel.

        1. That’s the problem… “With a good inlap”
          He didn’t have pace until the end of the race.. never got close to Hamilton he was like 3.9-4.2 seconds all the time.. after Hamilton put the hard he was even faster, no way Leclerc was going to get in that mix

          1. Sorry this comment was for someone else wayyy below.. dunno what happened

        2. @jureo, according to those lap charts, on lap 25, which is the lap before Vettel pitted, Leclerc had a 17 second gap over Bottas and 19 seconds over Verstappen.

          When Leclerc did finally pit, the gap between himself and Verstappen was actually fairly similar to what it had been before the pit stops (18.7s). The lap charts do indicate that Verstappen did briefly pass Leclerc, as he is listed as being (just about) ahead of Leclerc on lap 34.

          I would agree with @siegfreyco that, as the lead that Leclerc had over Bottas and Verstappen had remained fairly steady until then, it looks quite likely that Leclerc would have slipped behind at least Bottas if he’d pitted earlier than he did, whilst it might have been close with Verstappen.

          The question would then be how quickly Leclerc could catch and pass Bottas, and although Ferrari did have a straight line advantage over Mercedes, I suspect that Leclerc might not have found it easy to pass Bottas quickly – a few laps stuck behind him, and that attempt to undercut Hamilton probably would have failed.

          If he’d fallen behind Verstappen as well, that probably would have made things quite a bit harder – by that point in the race, Verstappen’s tyres would still have been in fairly good condition and his strategy was to run a long first stint, so he might have ended up trapped behind him for a long period of time.

          There is therefore a logic to that strategy – holding off for a few more laps meant that they would at least avoid getting stuck behind Bottas, with the potential to recover some of that lost ground in the closing laps as Leclerc’s tyres would have been fresher (indeed, he ended up in a similar position to where he had been before the pit stops).

  6. Leclerc thrown under the bus, yet again, on two occassions this race alone. Does Ferrari really know Leclerc is their driver?

  7. LeClerc had a right to know and Ferrari screwed him over again. Shows how much they don’t trust him.

    1. Stop posting nonsense, guys! LEC messed up his race on his own… by not being able to keep up with HAM, more exactly keep HAM within 2sec range. When VET and HAM pitted, LEC was like 4-5sec behind HAM. This costed him not only the chance to try undercut HAM (how could the undercut work with a 4-5sec gap?! no chance!), but also costed him the chance to keep HAM within reach (in case the undercut did not work) and pressure him for the remainder of the race. If pitted right after VET, LEC would have ended behind BOT and VER. That’s why Ferrari told him to continue. They offered him the best strategy given his pace.

  8. If the Leclerc had jumped lewis through the pit stop this will give the French driver the opportunity to chase Vettel down, That scenario Ferrari do not want!

  9. The writing for this season finale was BAD.

    1. @ruliemaulana – ah, I see you too GoT bitten by that 😏

  10. Ferrari seems to be forgetting about Leclerc a lot considering how long they keep leaving him out.

    Rate they’re going it’s going to get to the mid-season and they’ll be pointing at his side of the garage and going ‘Where’s this other car come from?’

  11. I don’t think this was on purpose. Reality is that Ferrari barely knows they have a second car.

    They forgot to call Leclerc in for his pit stop on time too. Leclerc could have been pressuring Hamilton form behind helping Vettel. Instead they just left Leclerc out to … yes for what?

    1. Although … Ferrari were urging Vettel to “give it all”. Why else would they do that besides seeing how Leclerc was closing down the gap steadily from 14.5 seconds down to 6.

      Amazingly, Leclerc cruising home was faster by half a second per lap than Vettel “giving it all”.

      1. Absolutely correct. The team’s claim that they forgot has just been debunked. Comedy gold.

      2. The thing is despite they’re a team as a whole… They have two garages..you can blame Leclerc engineers for not telling him to push more… Vettel engineer didn’t say Leclerc Is coming.. he said push.. so vettel was in the dark too with how close was Leclerc..

      3. That’s the problem… “With a good inlap”
        He didn’t have pace until the end of the race.. never got close to Hamilton he was like 3.9-4.2 seconds all the time.. after Hamilton put the hard he was even faster, no way Leclerc was going to get in that mix

  12. I completely understand why Binotto would like to minimise Sebs loss to only second place; but surely CLs engineer would automatically update him with things like this? Seems like all info passed to CL has to go through binotto approval first! This is entirely in keeping with this teams ethos, but CL must be at least a bit upset,………. i think that was within his grasp and in such a situation as CL thought existed, it is understandable he backed off even if just after the last lap hairpin. So disappointing for him, but prob a good team decision, certainly its likely Seb would have spontaneously combusted had he finished 3rd behind his teammate.

  13. GS (@gsagostinho)
    10th June 2019, 12:49

    Ferrari can barely handle having two cars on track right now, but imagine if they had introduced a third car per team as they were discussing some years ago!

  14. Its a bit of a stretch on this one, he has a whole part of the team on his side of the garage and no one thought to radio through to the driver that he may have a chance?!

    Unwilling or unable – neither looks great.

  15. Neil (@neilosjames)
    10th June 2019, 14:17

    Oh my.

    Can’t imagine Vettel would have been overjoyed if he’d got within five seconds (my thinking being that Ferrari would have ordered him to maintain the gap).

  16. “Ferrari “forgot” to tell Leclerc about Vettel’s penalty” – and if you believe that, I have this really nice bridge that I can sell you for a bargain price.

  17. More abuse towards Leclerc. Every single race, even Baku, where they kept them out far too long.
    Why did they bother signing him? A mostly burnt out docile Räikkönen would have worked better as a supporting driver.

  18. Graham Simon
    11th June 2019, 6:43

    @mzso – Ferrari did not want to sign him. The previous Ferrari boss signed Leclerc. Then when he passed away, Vettel and most of the Ferrari management tried hard to invalidate that contract and keep Leclerc away from Ferrari. So your question is answered – they actually did NOT want to sign him. Ferrari just want Vettel to win. The press are too cushy with Ferrari to report the truth. That Ferrari are deliberately undermining Leclerc in order to keep Vettel happy. Binotto is up there is Christian Horner (think 2009/2010/2011/2012) and Ross Brawn (think 2009) in terms of outright lies to the press to do their best to ensure only their chosen driver has a chance to claim the WDC.

  19. I do not understand, why Vettel did not try to back HAM into LEC, once he got the penalty. What was there to loose?

  20. As a Ferrari fan, and a spectator who doesn’t really care for the human factor (I m only really interested in the constructor s championship), this news can mean one of two things.

    Either it’s a lie, and that would be dismal because it shows poor leadership. Just state you intended to ensure Vettel retained second place. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and if it was intentional but you don t have the balls to say it, then you re in the wrong sport.
    If, however, it s true… Well then Ferrari is done for. Each driver has its own team, and such forgetfulness could it ever be explained by one whole side of the garage not caring about their driver. In that case, just stop. You re not going to go places.

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