During the Hungarian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc faced challenges due to radio problems, which contributed to his urgent tone while communicating with his Ferrari race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros. Despite these issues, he managed to finish the race in seventh place. However, a delay caused by a wheelgun problem during a pit stop and a five-second penalty for pitlane speeding cost him valuable time and a position, allowing George Russell to overtake him after the Hungarian Grand Prix
Throughout the race at the Hungaroring track, Charles Leclerc also questioned the timing of a strategy decision, but he emphasized that the emotions apparent in his message were not as significant as they might have seemed from the outside.
“The problem is that we have also lots of problems with the radio. And one out of four words is not understood by my engineer, because there’s just problems with our radios in three, four races. So we need to fix that. And obviously my tone of voice is quite high because I need to make myself heard. But I just wanted to make sure that they didn’t understand me wrong, and that I want you to go aggressive early, and not aggressive late. So it was just about clarifying because of our radio issues.” – the Monegasque explained at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest – “It’s difficult. Some races we didn’t do exactly what I wanted to do, but today we did. And just the slow stop obviously put us quite a bit on the back foot.” – the Ferrari man continued.
Charles Leclerc acknowledged that for Ferrari it had been a “difficult” and “frustrating” Sunday in Budapest, as the series of poor results continued for the Maranello team, but at the same time he pointed out that “the result looks worse than what it actually is”.
“I mean, the pitstop was quite slow. And we had a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. So yeah, it’s again a weekend that is difficult. Honestly, it’s frustrating overall, because I felt that with the pace we had today, even as a driver, when you are feeling like you’re doing a good job with a car you have, nobody really notices it. And whenever you are doing a bad job, everybody notices it. So it’s difficult.” – the Monegasque added.
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“But at the end, it’s part of the game. And it’s just up to us now to do a step forward as McLaren did. Now, we are in the back foot. And it’s been confirmed since the last three weekends, so there’s a lot of work to do again. Honestly, today, I feel like the result is much worse than what it felt like. The first stint felt pretty good, then with the slow stop, it really put us on the back foot being behind Lance [Stroll]. I had to push a lot, then we were with Carlos [Sainz], and we lost a bit of time there. And then in the third stint, I pushed again and there again, the car felt quite okay. But it’s clear that compared to Lando [Norris] especially we are still behind.” – the Ferrari driver said.
Charles Leclerc also pointed out that that in Budapest tyre degradation was in fact not such a big problem for the SF-23 car as was in the case in the previous races of the 2023 Formula 1 championship:
“Considering how much we were pushing, I don’t think it was that bad. But I don’t want to comment too much on that. Because to be honest, in the car, you’ve only got your own picture. I could see that with Lewis [Hamilton] in front in the first stint, I felt like we were doing a really good job on tyre management. Third stint with Oscar [Piastri], it felt like I was doing a good job with tyre management. “But I don’t know what the other three guys in the front were doing. So I’ll have to check that.” – Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc concluded following the Hungarian Grand Prix.