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F1 | Hungarian GP | Charles Leclerc urges Ferrari "to be better" after botched strategy destroys victory hopes

Not for the first time in 2022, Charles Leclerc was left to rue some extremely questionable calls by his team.

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F1 | Hungarian GP | Charles Leclerc urges Ferrari "to be better" after botched strategy destroys victory hopes
Fuente imagen: Scuderia Ferrari

There was yet more pain for Charles Leclerc in 2022 as Ferrari’s strategy decisions once again let the Monegasque driver down.

From 3rd on the grid, a longer first stint – 4 laps to be exact – allowed him to overcut teammate Carlos Sainz. He then pounced on George Russell at the beginning of lap 31 to take the lead.

However, things soon went south as Ferrari put him on hard tyres at the end of lap 39. He had only done 18 laps in his second medium stint.

It would turn out the hard tyre had no pace in it, as shown by the Alpines that had pitted 16 and 18 laps before Leclerc respectively.

Speaking post-race, the Monegasque told the media he wanted to carry on in the second stint.

“I think the second stint should have been longer,” Leclerc said. “The first stint was the right moment to stop, and we did the right choice there. But on the second stint, I don’t know exactly why we did it shorter.

“I made it clear that the medium I wanted to keep it as long as possible, but we pitted very early for the hard, which we need to understand why."

Verstappen pitted on lap 38 when he was 7 seconds off the lead and running in P4. Ferrari responded one lap later – but he was almost immediately swallowed up by the Dutchman as the hard tyres had no pace.

The 24-year-old thinks that was a mistake.

“I’m pretty sure that this was his call to put us under pressure, but I don’t think we should have maybe reacted to that,” he stated.

“Because then it was a snowball effect to us, and we lost much more than what we should do.”

Despite Verstappen spinning and gifting Leclerc the place back, the World Champion could breeze by for a second time four laps later.

Leclerc then lost 2nd to Russell on lap 54. He had to pit at the end of that tour because of a complete lack of pace on the hard.

“We had to pit [again] quite early, because [the] hard was just incredibly difficult.”

“That’s where I lost the race basically. I lost 20 seconds with the pit, another six seconds on five laps on the hard because I was just all over the place on the tyre.

“We’ll speak about it inside the team and how to get better.”

“Honestly the pace on my side, I was pretty happy,” replied Leclerc when told Sainz said the speed was missing today.

Leclerc is now a whopping 80 points behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship. The Monegasque believes it’s critical that Ferrari learn from their errors and analyse everything during the summer break.

“Before thinking about the championship, to be honest, as a team we need to understand what we need to do to get better, because otherwise it’s going to be really difficult,” he conceded.

“Obviously, a race like this is frustrating and we need to get better as a whole.

“It always feels like there’s always something going on, whatever [it] is, reliability, mistakes, whatever.

“But we need to be better putting a weekend together. And yeah, we will try and use the few days that we have to reset, but obviously also to analyse and to understand what we can do to get better, because this is extremely important.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tough one today. Not the race we wanted before the holidays but it’s now time to recharge the batteries and come back stronger in a month. <a href="https://t.co/zVCncdP3e7">pic.twitter.com/zVCncdP3e7</a></p>&mdash; Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) <a href="https://twitter.com/Charles_Leclerc/status/1553799600196182019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 31, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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