Cover Image for “That’s the worst strategy ever-” 5-time GP winner Charles Leclerc reacts to Ferrari’s failed strategy

“That’s the worst strategy ever-” 5-time GP winner Charles Leclerc reacts to Ferrari’s failed strategy

Tejas Venkatesh
|Thu Aug 11 2022


Charles Leclerc faced a poor tyre strategy call during a live stream similar to the one that cost him a win in the 2022 Hungarian GP.

Ferrari’s result at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix was awful. Despite starting the race in positions P2 and P3, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc only finished P4 and P6, respectively.

It was a must-win for Leclerc as the Monegasque to keep him in the title race. He was already trailing Max Verstappen by 63 points after crashing out of the previous race in France.

This error by Leclerc meant that to keep him in contention for the title, he has to win the remainder of the season’s races. And Ferrari did look stronger exhibiting good speed in the practice sessions in Hungaroring.

 

With both Ferrari’s qualifying in the top three, Charles had a great chance to cut his deficit in the Hungarian GP. But the Ferrari strategy team made a huge blunder that saw the 5-time GP winner only fare P6.

Verstappen had a power unit issue and was unable to set a time on Q3. He started the race P10 and even suffered a mid-race spin on tricky track conditions.

With this victory, he now has an enormous 80-point lead over his closest competitor, Leclerc. In the constructor’s standing, Red Bull now has a 96-point advantage over Ferrari in the second position.

It all came down to the wrong choice of tyres by the Italian team. Something that Leclerc even reacted to in a live stream while playing an F1 video game.

Also Read: Ferrari chose strategy for Hungarian GP that wasn’t even predicted by tyre supplier Pirelli

Charles Leclerc reacts to Ferrari’s poor strategy

Charles Leclerc is an avid streamer who regularly goes online on his twitch channel in the off-season breaks. He usually races in simulators or plays video games.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Charles was streaming an online race he was playing on F1 2021 video game. He was racing in what looked like Baku’s city circuit.

The weather conditions in the game were damp but seemed to be improving. Yet, the Ferrari strategy in the game called Charles for a pit-stop.

And instead of fitting him with Intermediates, they fitted the Monegasque’s car with the slower Wet tyres. Charles realised this at the last second and sighed, “You chose the wets. That’s definitely the worst strategy ever.”

 

And this was eerily similar to what happened at the 2022 Hungarian GP. Ferrari made a move to start on medium tyres. But then lost to pit ahead of both Mercedes and Red Bull cars.

The conditions were damp yet Ferrari opted to fit the hard tyres on Leclerc’s car which had less grip and took more time to heat. While Russell and Verstappen were on mediums.

Leclerc’s second stint was supposed to be extended until he could pit for soft tyres, but the team chose to put hard tyres on his vehicle instead, which proved to be a disastrous blunder.

 

Leclerc was unsure why Ferrari decided to improvise their original plan. He said after the race, “I’m very disappointed, obviously.

He added, “The pace was really good on the medium tyres, the second stint also everything was under control and then we decided to stop on the hards. I made it clear that I felt good on the medium, so I don’t exactly know what happened.”

Also Read:  How Ferrari’s blunders in the 2022 Hungarian GP could cost them a fortune


About the author