Charles Leclerc radio message reveals Ferrari tension during Canadian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc endured a frustrating weekend in Canada (Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc endured a frustrating weekend in Canada (Getty Images)

dCharles Leclerc’s frustrations with Ferrari appear to have been made clear after a terse exchange on team radio during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Having secured an emotional triumph on home roads in Monaco, Leclerc had been hoping to keep up his chase of Max Verstappen at the head of the world title race in Montreal.

But Ferrari endured a disastrous weekend, with the Monegasque not making it into final qualifying before being forced to retire alongside teammate Carlos Sainz on race day.

Leclerc’s retirement came midway through his 43rd lap of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but the 26-year-old had been frustrated by his car’s performance throughout.

The driver dealt with a significant engine issue that meant he was shedding significant time on the straights in Canada, while he and team engineer Bryan Bozzi also seem to have disagreed about how to manage Leclerc’s tyres.

With the rain coming and going on a wet afternoon, Ferrari opted to switch to slick tyres on Lap 29 despite the rest of the field remaining on the intermediate compound in the hopes of compensating for the lack of pace caused by the engine issue.

Charles Leclerc was forced to retire in Montreal (Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc was forced to retire in Montreal (Getty Images)

According to Planet F1, Leclerc did not agree with that decision, asking: “Shall we box again? It’s raining too much.”

Though Bozzi indicated that the wet weather would soon move away, Leclerc was insistent, adding that he was “losing 10 seconds a lap”.

The team then gave in, allowing Leclerc to change his tyres. It did not ultimately matter, though, with the engine trouble not going away and forcing the driver to ask his team to end his race.

“If we are losing 1.5 seconds on the straight, then there’s no f****** point,” Leclerc is reported to have said. “I want to stop.”

Having been informed that Ferrari were to retire his car, he then remarked: “That is a good idea.”

A pointless weekend represented a set-back for Leclerc, particularly with Verstappen securing victory to widen his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings.

“Honestly there is not much more to say apart from the engine issue cost us everything,” Leclerc reflected afterwards to the F1 website.

“Then at one point we tried to go on the slicks when we knew it was going to be more of a chance that it wouldn’t work, but we had to test something because, with the engine issues we had, we would have been out the points anyway, and that was it really.

“We’ve got to look into the engine issue, because that’s going to be tricky for the rest of the season.”