Leclerc criticises Ferrari after Monaco defeat

Charles Leclerc with team boss Mattia Binotto

Charles Leclerc has criticised Ferrari for making too many mistakes after he finished fourth in the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

The Monegasque driver started from pole position but lost out during both pit stop cycles.

At the first, he was undercut by Sergio Perez, and was then forced to wait behind team-mate Carlos Sainz at his second stop to drop off the podium after holding a comfortable advantage in the opening stages.

“Sometimes mistakes can happen but there has been too many mistakes today overall,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

“Obviously in those conditions we rely a little bit on what the team can see because you don’t see what the others are doing with intermediates, with dry tyres.

“I’ve been asked questions if I wanted to go from the extreme wets to the slicks and I said, ‘yes but not now, a bit later on in the race’, but I don’t understand what made us change our minds and go on the intermediates.

“We got undercut, then I stopped behind Carlos. There have been a lot of mistakes and we cannot afford to do that.”

Ferrari had initially pitted Leclerc to swap from the extreme wets he’d started on for a set of intermediates on Lap 18, two laps after eventual winner Perez had been in the lane.

The Mexican gained a position courtesy of the undercut, while Sainz ignored calls to pit, hoping to jump from the wet straight to the slicks as conditions continued to improve.

Ferrari decided that point had arrived on Lap 21, initially calling Leclerc to box only to cancel the call once he’d already entered the lane.

With Sainz having also pitted, Leclerc was forced to queue, losing another position to Verstappen as a consequence.

“Obviously I got the call and I and I listened to it,” Leclerc said later when asked why he didn’t follow Sainz’s lead and ignore the call.

“So we didn’t have the time to discuss because it was at a particular moment and I think the aim was to react to Perez.

“But anyway, we’ll analyse all of this.

“Obviously it’s disappointing and it hurts, especially at home.

“Today we had everything to win, the pace was very strong, the first stint I was managing and it was going extremely well in the wet.

“But then unfortunately everything went against us, so it hurts.

“It’s life, and we’ll come back stronger.”

The net result was a fourth placed finish, one spot behind title rival Verstappen who now holds a nine point advantage a the top of the drivers’ standings.

Perez has also closed courtesy of winning the race and is now just six points back in third.

Formula 1 heads next to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on June 10-12.