Charles Leclerc was sent into a pole position shootout in Brazil on Friday by Ferrari with tires that were different from everyone else’s, adding another mistake to a season’s list.
Monegasque’s bet on the weather didn’t pay off, and he ended up qualifying 10th for Saturday’s sprint race in Sao Paulo because he didn’t have a lap time from the final phase because of rain and red flags at Interlagos.
“Am I the only individual who uses inters?” Leclerc inquired over the team radio on his first lap out of the pits when he noticed that everyone else was using soft slick tires rather than the slower damp track option.
“There is no rain,” he went on to say.
The Ferrari driver had to pit once more after that, but Mercedes driver George Russell fell into the gravel and set off red flags, ending the session.
As the rain got worse, he was unable to complete a flying lap.
Leclerc will start with Sergio Perez of Red Bull on Saturday in a 100-kilometer race that will determine the main grand prix grid for Sunday. Leclerc is competing with Perez for second place in a championship that Max Verstappen has already won.
The first driver out of the pits in Q3 was Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who took his first pole position.
“I will talk to the team to understand what we can do better in those conditions,” Leclerc stated.
Ferrari’s season has been significantly impacted by errors from all directions as well as reliability issues.
Leclerc led his home race in Monaco from pole position before making a strategy error that placed him fourth.
During a pit stop at the Dutch Grand Prix, Ferrari only had three tires ready for Carlos Sainz.
“Since it has been going on all year, what is happening at Ferrari and who is going to handle this?” On Sky TV, pundit and 1996 world champion Damon Hill stated.
The Briton went on to say, “You can see they have the potential, and Charles is effectively criticizing the team on the radio by saying “nice one guys,” but he has to take some responsibility as well,” and added, “You can see they have the potential.”
“Maybe they aren’t allowing him to do that, or perhaps he lacks the courage to take responsibility for himself.”