Charles Leclerc says Ferrari ‘need to get better as a whole’

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Ferrari needs to improve in every area after stumbling their way through the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s track record of poor strategy calls continued on Sunday as Leclerc came from the race lead to 16 seconds behind Max Verstappen, who is likely to finish this year’s championship in a handful of races.

The strategy chosen by Ferrari was not among any of the four predicted quickest strategies formulated by Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli ahead of the race.

At Leclerc’s second stop, Ferrari fitted the car with the toughest Pirelli tire, although Kevin Magnussen and both Alpine drivers struggled with the same compound throughout the race.

Leclerc had wanted to stay on the medium and ended up switching to the soft tire.

“I made it clear that the medium [tyre] I wanted to keep it as long as possible, but we pitted very early, which we have to understand why,” said Leclerc after the race.

Leclerc’s hopes of challenging for the championship have been dashed this year by a combination of strategic mistakes by Ferrari, reliability issues and two mistakes of his own at Imola and Paul Ricard.

When asked if it was frustrating to see another race slip away, he said: “Obviously a race like this is frustrating. And we need to get better overall.

“You know, it always feels like there’s always something going on, whatever, reliability, failure, whatever. But we better put together a weekend. And yes, we will try to take advantage of the few days that we have to reset, but of course also to analyze and understand where we need to improve and what we can do to improve, because that is extremely important .”

Ferrari had looked comfortably fastest in Friday practice but didn’t have a clear pace advantage on Sunday when temperatures had cooled significantly.

Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz pointed this out in his post-race interviews.

“I think we lacked the pace and I don’t think we made that many mistakes either. I think if you lack the pace, like Red Bull did in Austria, nobody said: ‘Can Red Bull go with you continue with these mistakes?’ No. We had a very bad pace today, I think.”

He added: “We need to analyze how on Friday we can go from a half second lead at race pace ahead of everyone and flat out on the tires to a sudden drop with 30 degrees less track temperature and not having that pace advantage. For me, that was definitely something about the pace that got out of hand, especially in these temperatures.” Charles Leclerc says Ferrari ‘need to get better as a whole’

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