Charles Leclerc lost three positions on the starting grid for Sunday’s race as a result of a Ferrari crew error in Monaco’s qualifying, as admitted by the team boss Frederic Vasseur.
Leclerc was passing through Monaco’s tunnel after finishing his final Q3 lap during Saturday’s qualifying showdown when McLaren’s Lando Norris ran into the slow Ferrari.
Leclerc received a penalty from the stewards for obstructing the McLaren driver, but it later turned out that the Monegasque had not been informed by the Ferrari pitwall of Norris’ impeding approach.
“Yesterday I got the information too late and that of course put us a little bit on the back foot for today,” Leclerc said about the grid drop that showed the existing strategy issues that Ferrari has been suffering. “Of course, it’s frustrating. Any weekend like this one anywhere it’s frustrating, at home it’s even more frustrating.
“But on the other hand, that’s where we need to keep our head up.”
Vasseur quickly apologized to his driver and promised to make Ferrari’s communication better moving forward.
“He’s been a bit frustrated in Monaco for a couple of years now and for sure yesterday was tough,” Vasseur admitted. “It was tough first to lose the pole position for one tenth or something like this, to lose the first row for two hundredths, and then the call.
“What can I do else than apologise on behalf of the team and to understand how we can do a better job, and to improve the communication between the pitwall and Charles in this condition, but on both sides.
“I think it’s also due to the circumstances where its happened, into the tunnel and so on. But okay, we have to avoid to try to find excuses because it’s the worst way if you want to improve, we just have to correct.”
If Leclerc had started his race in position three, Vasseur speculated, Leclerc might have had a different race outcome.
“We made a mistake yesterday clearly and this cost us a lot because I think starting from P3 it could have been another race, but we have to learn from it,” the Ferrari boss said. “Honestly, I’m not looking trying to find an excuse or something like this, we have to review completely the situation tomorrow.
“I didn’t want to do it yesterday evening because we are focused on the race. But tomorrow we will have a look on this.”