Ferrari\’s strategic error cost Charles Leclerc yet again during the last racing weekend in Budapest. The Monegasque started third behind his teammate Carlos Sainz, with Mercedes George Russell leading the way from the pole. The two Ferrari started out on fresh sets of mediums, while Russell opted for the soft ones to stay ahead of the superior-paced Scuderia. Leclerc looked strong during the first stint as he followed Russell closely. A little while later, Ferrari attempted an overcut during the pit stops to get Leclerc ahead of his teammate Sainz. The move allowed the Monegasque to get ahead of Russell into the lead before Max Verstappen pitted for the second set of mediums from fourth after staring at P10.
However, things quickly turned around when Ferrari decided to switch Leclerc to hard tyres despite rivals teams clearly struggling on the compounds. The Ferrari driver could not find any grip on the hards and failed to defend against Verstappen during the third stint. The Dutchman easily overtook Leclerc into the lead of the race while Ferrari pitted the Monegasque for a pair of softs. Unfortunately, Charles Leclerc was left stranded at P6 with a lot left to do in the final few laps. The 24-year-old could not do much and finished P6 behind Sergio Perez.
Meanwhile, Sainz remained on Mediums and finished P4. The Spaniard was eventually passed by Lewis Hamilton, who overtook his teammate to finish P2. Leclerc was clearly unhappy with Ferrari\’s strategy, which cost him a lot of championship points yet again. He is now left 80 points behind Verstappen in the drivers\’ standings. The Monegasque revealed that the Hard compounds were really bad in Budapest, and he wanted to stay on the mediums as long as possible.
Ferrari\’s Mistakes Raises Concerns About Charles Leclerc\’s Future With The Italian Outfit
After the race, Charles communicated with his team on the radio. He asked if the hards were bad for everyone else or if he was the only one. The Monegasque race engineer Xavi Marcos replied that it was the same for everyone on the hards. Soon after, Charles Leclerc questioned why his team chose to go on hards, despite the two Alpines clearly struggling after switching to hards. The Ferrari driver then asked if his team was the only one with three stops. Marco revealed that Ferrari was the only team with three stops at the front. Some other teams at the back also had three stops.
The fans commended Leclerc\’s radio communication with his teammate as he bashed his team for a stupid strategy. The incident also led to speculations among fans that Leclerc might exit Ferrari. Lately, Charles was rumored to join Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton calls it quits. One of the fans reckoned that Charles did a great job by getting his team to admit their stupidity outside the debrief by asking such questions. Another fan commented that Ferrari was absolutely bonkers to have switched to hards, despite other teams struggling badly on the compounds.
The discussions among the fans also led to rumors about Charles leaving Ferrari. If they still continue to falter in the future, Leclerc might end up replacing Hamilton at Mercedes in the future. It is a likely scenario that Charles Leclerc might consider leaving the Italian outfit. He was left stranded by his team on several occasions this season. As a result, Leclerc\’s dream of winning the championship is quickly fading away.