Singapore Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says the undercut strategy that won the race for Sebastian Vettel hadn’t been discussed ahead of the race.
Charles Leclerc ended up coming home in P2 in Sunday’s race at Marina Bay in Singapore. Having started from pole position and controlling the pace at the front for the opening stint, Leclerc ended up being passed through the pitstops by his own teammate Sebastian Vettel. This was after the German driver dived into the pits at the end of Lap 20 and benefitted from the undercut tyre advantage. While Ferrari also immediately pitted Leclerc afterwards, Vettel’s pace was sufficient to earn him position and, in the end, the win.
With the undercut known to offer a big advantage, Leclerc was asked whether Ferrari had discussed which of the drivers would pit first during the race or whether an undercut for the second car was always the plan: “No, we didn’t speak about that plan so I think that will be one of the discussions too to try and understand why we didn’t speak about that situation before.” explained Leclerc. “But it’s impossible to go through all the possibilities in a race, all of them are unique but no, we didn’t speak about this particular situation.”
Speaking about Ferrari’s decision to pit Vettel first, Leclerc said: “I was surprised because obviously I was not aware in the car, but I guess if this decision has been made it was for the good of the team and it had to be the only way for us to do a one-two. So if it’s the case I completely understand it, but obviously from the car it’s very frustrating. So not completely happy but yeah, anyway the overall result of the weekend is very positive. We hoped for at least one car on the podium for this weekend and we go back home with a one-two, which we definitely did not expect on a track like this. So this is very positive.”
Leclerc says he’s aiming to become more aware of what’s going around him on track as a result of not knowing what had happened with Vettel until the other Ferrari appeared in front of him: “Well, to be honest, today I don’t think I could have done much things better or differently. Yeah, the only thing probably is I will ask a bit more about the strategy around me and who is not, because I was not aware, so I don’t know if I should have pushed a bit earlier during my first stint. I don’t know, we have plenty of data anyway and I will analyse it.”