During the 2023 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, there was a team radio message to Charles Leclerc regarding his Maranello teammate: “Sainz will not attack you,” – we could hear over the Ferrari team radio during the race which was held at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal on Sunday.
Frederic Vasseur took it upon himself to explain to the press after the Canadian Grand Prix what he meant with those words. The Ferrari Team Principal clarified that there was a specific strategy for that point in the race. “It was about pushing, avoiding losing time fighting amongst ourselves.”
The purpose was indeed to “extend our advantage over Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris,” who were behind the two Ferrari drivers. For this reason, “losing time” with a battle between Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc “would have been foolish,” Frederic Vasseur pointed out.
“Fighting is a big word, but our drivers always have the right to race each other. However, in that particular circumstance, it would have been counterproductive,” the team principal concluded.
Specifically, the Ferrari team radio message to Charles Leclerc during the Canadian Grand Prix said: “Charles, we want a clean and fast stint. Sainz will not attack you.” The team informed the Monegasque driver that the objective was to have a “clean and fast” tire stint in order to gather as much data as possible also to understand the progress made in terms of tyre management and further evaluate the ideal development direction for the future.
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Therefore, a battle between him and the Spaniard was not appropriate in that situation. It was an instruction that both drivers followed, as they focused on managing their tires, allowing them to create a greater distance from the competitors behind them.
Scuderia Ferrari concludes the weekend in Canada on a positive note, finally finding reasons to smile. The next appointment is in Austria, where we will have some further updates for the SF-23 single-seater, as confirmed by the French manager.