Ferrari denies that Leclerc wanted to satisfy the team’s instructions
There was no doubt that they wanted to please Charles Leclerc, who had criticized them the day before. According to Frédécir Vasseur, it would have been foolish not to instruct the team in the Canadian race.
The field was on lap 24 of the Canadian Grand Prix, when, following his teammate, Carlos Sainz announced on team radio that he felt he could be faster. It was a clear indication that he wanted to get up against Charles Leclerc, but Ferrari sent a different message to the Monaco driver a few laps later: They told him that Sainz was not going to attack him in any way, and that they should try. Run a smooth stage.
After that, Leclerc pulled away from his teammate a bit and, without DRS, couldn’t really get close to him later on.
Of course, after his tantrum in Monaco on Saturday, it was suggested that Ferrari might not even dare bother him with team instructions now, but Frédéric Vasser made it clear that common sense wasn’t the reason he was issued the overtaking ban.
“No, it wasn’t that we wanted to protect anyone. Simply put, at this point in the race our tactic was to push and try not to waste time by fighting with each other.”
“We were trying to get ahead of Ocon and Norris maybe, I don’t know. If they had fought with each other, we would have lost time and it would have been stupid.” – explained the Frenchman.
By the way, Sainz wasn’t mad at Ferrari for keeping him behind Leclerc.
“No, I actually expected it. We were both trying to stretch out the stage. I felt really good on the medium tyre, so I was able to get into the DRS distance. I felt like my pace could have been very good, but it was the right move to extend that stage, then crossed the field with a reverse cut and finished fifth.
According to the Spaniard, it was already a big word from Ferrari that their tires had lasted so long, but at the same time he noted that the fact that they were now more competitive and treated the tires better was probably also due to the track. “We’re getting better, but I think our competitiveness also depends on the tracks. We struggled at high-speed corners in Barcelona, and coming here we knew we’d be better because of the line. We were also stronger. We’ll see how it’s going in Austria, because I think our performance will change, So is the frame with the stiffer tires.”
Sainz felt they could have done better in Canada from better starting positions. “Our pace was strong all weekend. It’s a shame about qualifying, because without them I think we could have fought with Mercs and Aston now, but that was our fault. We’ll try to do better next time.”