“Think about the championship if the positions remain these”, Charles’s first message at the pit wall during the 69th lap. The next round, the second request to the pit wall: “Please, think about the championship every point counts …“.
The track engineer of the Monegasque driver told Leclerc that there would be no exchange of positions with Sainz. Xavier Marcoswho spoke on the radio of a choice that would have been a “too risky” move: “We think it’s too risky“In fact, Leclerc was closely followed by Fernando Alonso, who could have taken advantage of any uncertainty in the teamwork between the two reds and incredibly snatched the podium from the two Ferrari drivers.
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Leclerc black mood at the end of the race: “It was quite a frustrating weekend”
After the checkered flag Leclerc and his track engineer tried to explain themselves as can be seen from further radio messages and also the ds Mekies wanted to calm Charles with a short message …
Mekies: “There were other reasons why we didn’t swap positions. We’ll talk about that later. You did a super job“
Leclerc: “Yes I don’t know what reasons you are talking about I’m sorry. But it’s okay anyway”
In short, while openly avoiding controversy, even during the interviews in the mix zone, one could read Charles’s disappointment at the lack of consent to a request that would have made it easier for him to pursue the title of world champion. A goal that Charles will have to play in Abu Dhabi, trying to get one position ahead of Checo.
“The incident with Norris? I honestly gave him the space inside, then I’ll have to look again – said Leclerc, to Sky’s microphones immediately after the race – Maybe it wasn’t enough, but it seemed so to me. Maybe then he lost his rear, and at that point we touched. After this episode it was a difficult race, but we made a good comeback. The pace was good, not like that of the Mercedes, but other than that it wasn’t bad. I have to focus on what I do, and I will make sure that I am in a better position in Abu Dhabi. The position request to Sainz and the no how do they leave me? It’s been a pretty frustrating weekend, so I want to go to Abu Dhabi, just do my race“.
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