Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has described the São Paulo Grand Prix as a “missed opportunity” following Charles Leclerc's non-start but admonished his driver of any blame.
Leclerc suffered a loss of power and control of his steering wheel on the formation lap and was spun into the barrier at Turn 6, sending him out of the race before it had even started.
It marked the second non-start in four races for Ferrari after Carlos Sainz was ruled out of the race in Qatar with a pre-race fuel leak.
Leclerc was due to start on the front row alongside polesitter Max Verstappen and after a bold tyre strategy through the weekend aimed at maximising the race, Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.com: “It's very frustrating for Charles and for the team.
“The issue also is that strategically over the weekend, we put all the effort into the long run to save tyres.
“We didn't put new tyres on for the Sprint and we didn't take the start [of the Grand Prix].
“For sure it's frustrating, it was more than disappointing but I'm sure that he will be back we'll be focused on Vegas.
“It was not the Charles' fault at all that. Someone told me about social media, they were complaining about Charles but without the gearbox and the power steering, you can't do anything.“
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“Now we have to stay calm to understand what's happened to avoid any issues in the future,” added Vasseur after Ferrari missed an opportunity to capitalise on Mercedes' struggles in the race for second in the Constructors' standings.
“The pace over the weekend was not that bad. We were in a good position and it's a missed opportunity because we are catching up Mercedes a little bit.
“With Charles on the first row with fresh tyres it could've been so much better.
“We have still two attempts, Vegas and Abu Dhabi. Vegas could be a chaotic one and if we have the same pace as this weekend and Mercedes the same pace as this weekend then we have another opportunity.”