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Charles Leclerc

Vasseur concedes Ferrari 'mistake' in Leclerc US strategy

Charles Leclerc was not happy with his team after it commited to to a one-stop strategy.

Leclerc US
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has explained the strategy "mistake" which led to Charles Leclerc dropping out of the top three in the United States Grand Prix.

Pole-sitter Leclerc attempted a one-stop strategy in Austin, switching to the Hard tyres on Lap 23, but it quickly became evident that a two-stopper was the way to go, with McLaren abandoning a one-stop for Lando Norris.

Leclerc enquired about whether a two-stop was possible on his way to a sixth-place finish on the road after being ordered to let team-mate Carlos Sainz through for what was then fourth place.

This was to protect against Sergio Perez behind, but Leclerc's race was effectively sacrificed before he was disqualified along with Lewis Hamilton for excessive wear to the plank underneath the car found in post-race scrutineering.

Speaking before the disqualification, boss Vasseur conceded a mistake was made in pre-race calculations.

Leclerc loses time in traffic

"In terms of numbers, it [a one-stop vs two-stop] was very, very close," Vasseur told media, including RacingNews365.

"I think where we made the mistake is that we anticipated that it would be 50/50 and it was not at all."

"The issue is that we didn't have a clear picture about this (owing to limited practice time because of the Sprint format).

"Before the race, we were hesitating a bit in the first stint, [about whether to] push or not and we made a mistake."

Vasseur elaborated on where much of the time was lost for Leclerc, who quickly found himself out of contention for a podium despite starting from pole.

"It's not just a matter of tenths of seconds on the tyres, it's a matter of what the others are doing," he added.

"Even more difficult with Charles, everybody committed to the two-stop and it meant that you have much more traffic around you.

"Each time that someone is overtaking you, you are losing two seconds. It means that you when you have this with four guys, you are losing around eight seconds.

"It's more the traffic [that was a factor] and the picture of what others are doing, but [the strategy] was a mistake [on our part]."

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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