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F1: Leclerc gets scolding from Ferrari boss after teammate wins at Silverstone

Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished fourth on Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, while teammate Carlos Sainz secured his maiden F1 win. It could have been a Ferrari 1-2, but a pit strategy call cost Leclerc the lead in the closing stages of the race. He did not hesitate to share his frustration over the team radio numerous times throughout the afternoon, and it appears as though team boss Mattia Binotto was having none of it.

After the race, cameras caught a glimpse of Binotto appearing to give Leclerc a stern dressing down complete with finger wagging. The Monegasque claimed that he was merely being cheered up by the team principal when asked about the conversation during his post-race interviews.

“He [Binotto] wanted to cheer me up and that’s it,” said Leclerc, referring to the disappointing fourth place. He lost out on the opportunity to claw back more points against title rival Max Verstappen, who suffered downforce problems and had to fall down the order.

Leclerc had the opportunity to secure the victory, but the team decided not to call him in for a pit stop during a late safety car caused by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Instead, they only pitted Sainz, leaving him vulnerable against the attacking Red Bull of Sergio Perez and Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who also both managed to pit under the safety car.

Instead of a Ferrari 1-2 with Leclerc in front, he fell back to 4th place, with Sainz, Perez and Hamilton getting past him at the restart. Apart from that, Leclerc also felt like he lost time in the earlier stages of the race when the team failed to pull the trigger by asking Sainz to let him pass while he had the better pace.

“We’ll have to look at the global picture. I only have my picture of my race and in the car sometimes you don’t have the full picture. On my side, I feel like I’ve lost a little bit too much time in the first stint and especially in the first part of the second stint, but this is only my view and it might change once I see the full picture,” he said, obviously having been told by Binotto to widen his perspective.

The Ferrari boss later defended the team’s decision not to double stack the cars for the pit stop due to concerns over losing track position.

“We were the only ones out there having the two cars fighting for the good positions. The other teams got only one car, so certainly the decisions are a lot easier. In our case, we got the two cars and we saw that there was not sufficient gap to stop both of them, because the second would have lost time at the pit stop and would have fallen back on track,” said Binotto.

Meanwhile, former F1 world champion Jenson Button is not convinced that Binotto was “cheering up” his driver. “I always cheer my friends up with a good finger wag,” said Button sarcastically. He then went on to tell Sky Sports that he feels Leclerc definitely lost the race due to the bad strategy call.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc
POOL via AFP/Manu Fernandez
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