Charles Leclerc reveals Mattia Binotto was ‘P**** OFF’ at him for being ‘too down’ following fourth-placed finish at the British Grand Prix – after Ferrari chief was pictured wagging his finger towards star driver at Silverstone
- Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished fourth at the British Grand Prix on July 3
- He was left irked as Ferrari’s tactics favoured team-mate Carlos Sainz who won
- It was a missed chance for Leclerc in his F1 world title battle vs Max Verstappen
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has lifted the lid on his frank conversation with team principal Mattia Binotto following a frustrating British Grand Prix.
Leclerc had led the race but stayed out during a late safety car period when others, including Sainz, pitted for fresh, faster tyres.
The 24-year-old was no match for them after the re-start and finished fourth, losing a great chance to slash the gap to Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen who finished seventh.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (right) says team principal Mattia Binotto was ‘p***** off’ at him for being down in the dumps after finishing fourth at the British Grand Prix
Ferrari’s tactics hindered Leclerc from winning at Silverstone and aiding his F1 world title bid
Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz won the race but many questioned the tactics deployed by Binotto as Leclerc’s championship chances were damaged.
After the race, Binotto was pictured wagging his finger at Leclerc during a discussion in the paddock as tensions seemed to be high.
And reflecting on that incident, Leclerc has revealed that Binotto was annoyed at the Monegasque racer for being dispirited about his fourth-placed finish.
‘I have already said it, and I know that it can create doubt, but he was actually pissed off at me because I was too down, and so he was trying to cheer me up,’ Leclerc stated.
‘Everybody was wondering why he was putting the finger like this, but I think he was just frustrated to see me so down after such a great race.
‘On the other hand, it’s obviously understandable, he understood my disappointment – leading the race and finishing fourth.’
Leclerc (left) saw the back of team-mate Carlos Sainz’s car for most of the British Grand Prix
On Thursday, Leclerc also dismissed reports of division and frustration inside Ferrari after Sainz’s British Grand Prix victory.
Italian media reports had suggested Leclerc’s engineers boycotted a photograph to celebrate Sainz’s first Formula One win, angry at the outcome.
‘It is a shame to see all of this type of things,’ Leclerc said at the Austrian Grand Prix when asked about the reports.
‘It is definitely not what is happening inside the team. We are a very united team, we’ve always been and it’s not these difficult races that will make it change.
‘Were we disappointed after last weekend? I think we were because we were one-two and we finished one-four so part of the team were disappointed. But this was definitely not the reason whatsoever for not everybody being on the picture.’
Leclerc said the timing was tricky, late in the day, and half of the team who did stay for the picture had missed the plane home.
The 24-year-old congratulates his Ferrari team-mate after victory around Silverstone last week
‘We wanted to do a first picture…but Carlos was not there,’ he said. ‘So we had to delay everything. But there are no hard feelings whatsoever.
‘Everyone was very happy for Carlos, and this is the feeling that there is inside the team.’
Sainz said Leclerc had to attend anti-doping so they could not attend Ferrari’s post-race driver briefing together as usual.
‘Like always he behaved like a gentleman like he is and the briefing went normal like the way it should go,’ said the Spaniard.
‘One of the strong points we have as team mates and as drivers (is) a team spirit that we have in Ferrari and these things are always under control.’
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