Mexican GP: Leclerc’s second stint issues need understanding

Ferrari have need to understand what went wrong for Charles Leclerc on his second stint during the Mexican Grand Prix according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Leclerc had started the race from pole position, and led in the early stages, but he dropped out of contention after opting for a two-stop strategy while his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton made the decision to only stop once.

The 21-year-old was then hampered even further with a slow second stop when he opted for a brand new set of the hard tyres, and he failed to make up the required ground to catch Valtteri Bottas for the final podium position.

Speaking after the race, Ferrari Team Principal, Binotto said: “It was a long afternoon and we knew it would be a tough race, managing the tyres.

“[A] two-stop strategy was still a good strategy but Charles’ second stint on Medium was not great and we need to understand why.

“He also lost some time at the pitstop and all of that gave him some disadvantage at the end of the race.”

Binotto confirmed that his team were caught out by the lack of graining on the tyres during the race, after expecting degradation to be high after Friday free practice, and that in hindsight they should have taken a risk like Mercedes.

Leclerc was also disappointed to finish outside the top three and said that he was struggling with overheating in the second stint, but they had to commit to a two-stop strategy in order to cover off the Red Bull of Alex Albon.

“The beginning of the race went well, and I managed to stay in the lead for the first stint.” commented Leclerc.

“Wanting to cover off Alex (Albon), we pitted early and committed to a two-stop strategy.

“My second stint was difficult and any time I approached a car ahead I struggled with overheating and couldn’t overtake.

“All in all, it’s a shame but if there is something I can learn from today, it is to try to help the team more with my feedback from inside the car so that we can make the best call together.”