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Leclerc ‘no regret’ over victory gamble amidst Ferrari tyre confusion

Leclerc ‘no regret’ over victory gamble amidst Ferrari tyre confusion

Charles Leclerc has insisted he does “not regret” the tyre gamble that ultimately cost him a podium at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver drove a superb race in third and was comfortable around two seconds adrift of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before both the Dutchman and race leader Valtteri Bottas pitted with just over 20 laps remaining.

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The Scuderia gambled by keeping out Leclerc on heavily worn intermediates in an attempt to complete the race without stopping and take an unlikely victory.

But after his rivals emerged the other side of a painful graining phase, Leclerc was powerless to resist.

The Monégasque driver eventually pitted in the closing stages but when suffering from his own graining on a new set of inters, Sergio Perez found his way past and onto the podium.

Declaring the tyre-wear situation throughout the race as “very strange”, Leclerc added: “I think it was the same a bit for everyone and that is what has confused us on our choice of when to pit.

“I was on used tyres and on the radio they were telling me the lap times of Valtteri on the new sets of inters and he was not very quick at the beginning. I was like ‘Okay, we can stay in front on these used tyres’.

“The thing is that, for seven laps, they struggled massively with graining and once they went through the graining, they found a lot of pace.

“Once they found that pace, we knew we had to stop, so we stopped but it was too late. Then for the last 10 laps of the race, I was just trying to switch on those inters that never really came to life.

“It is a bit of a shame because that made us lose the podium but I don’t regret anything.”

Ferrari communication improved from Russia

Leclerc tumbled down the order in the rain chaos that hit the closing stages of the Russian Grand Prix last time out when Ferrari failed to pit him onto the correct tyre compound at the right time.

The 23-year-old dismissed any issues with communication on this occasion, suggesting the call to stay out was correct at the time.

“In Russia, the communication was not great but this time the communication was very good,” he said.

“I had a clear picture of the race and I think we did what we thought was the right choice at the time.

“It didn’t pay off at the end but it is like this, it was a bit of a strange race with those tyres.”

A. F1

via GPFans – The world’s fastest-growing independent F1 community

October 10, 2021 at 08:01PM

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