Mexican Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says his two sets of Medium tyres felt completely different during the race in Mexico.Starting from pole position, Charles Leclerc finished the Mexican Grand Prix down in P4. This was after Ferrari split the strategies of their two cars and put Leclerc on a two stop strategy, while Sebastian Vettel went with a single stop.
Leclerc pitted on Lap 15, swapping his used Mediums for a fresh set, and resumed the race in P4. Despite his fresher tyres, his pace wasn’t much stronger than either Vettel up front or Hamilton and Bottas and he fell back further when he pitted for a second time on Lap 43 to take on the Hard compound. This stop cost him four seconds when his right rear tyre was reluctant about being tightened up.
While Leclerc flew in the third stint of the race to catch up on the leading trio and on fresher tyres, a small error in the closing stages seemed to halt his momentum. As a result, he came home in P4 and less than three seconds from the podium.
Explaining that he didn’t think the two stopper was the reason for falling back so far, he said: “I think that the second stint was not particularly great. I didn’t feel good on this medium compound. Don’t know why – the first Medium felt a lot better so we need to analyse and understand this.”
Explaining the two stop strategy, he said: “Obviously, once we did the first stop pretty early to cover from Albon, we knew it was going to be a two stop race and all the others went for a one stop race. It was very difficult.”
With Vettel resisting initial team instruction to pit and extending his first stint as far as possible in order to make the one stop work, Leclerc said he’d be taking heed of Vettel’s decisiveness for the future: “I think I still need to do some work because in the race especially. When you see the tendency in the last few weekends and today – OK, the strategy hasn’t been good but I should have come on the radio and ask for something and be more decisive in the decision to try and help the team to make the right decision on my side which Seb did. I need to learn from that. Hopefully that will come with time.”