Fred Vasseur questioned about Charles Leclerc's crash record

Fred Vasseur questioned about Charles Leclerc’s crash record

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur has accepted that Charles Leclerc must push the boundaries to gain an advantage, considering the impressive pace of his Ferrari, as the repair bill for Leclerc’s crashes continues to mount. The Monégasque driver has experienced a string of incidents, including crashing out of the Australian Grand Prix and sustaining damage in both Baku and Miami.

During the first lap of the Australian Grand Prix, Leclerc was involved in a collision with Lance Stroll, exacerbating his crash damage bill. Further incidents occurred in Baku, where he crashed his SF-23 in the final minutes of the sprint shootout. In Miami, Leclerc damaged his front suspension in a practice crash and then incurred rear-end damage during qualifying, with both incidents occurring at Turn 7.

Given Leclerc’s impressive speed and performance, former F1 driver Martin Brundle questioned Vasseur about whether the team must tolerate these mistakes due to Leclerc’s inherent speed or if they were becoming excessive.

Vasseur responded to Brundle’s query during an interview with Sky Sports, stating, “Well, it depends on the circumstances. If you’re speaking about the crash in Baku, I think it was the right time to push, and perhaps he over-pushed. He was in pole with the first lap and knew that everybody would do a second lap, and that he had to push. It’s not the same thing to crash in the last lap of Q3 in qualifying in Baku and to crash in FP2; that’s another story.”

Vasseur’s comments indicate that he acknowledges the fine line Leclerc must navigate between pushing to maximize performance and the risks associated with it. The incidents in Baku and Miami occurred under different circumstances, with the crash in Baku potentially a result of Leclerc pushing too hard in an attempt to secure pole position.

As the repair costs mount, it is evident that Leclerc’s aggressive driving style can lead to occasional mishaps. However, the team understands the context and accepts that Leclerc’s determination to extract every ounce of performance from the car is part of his racing DNA.

As the season progresses, Ferrari will aim to strike a balance between pushing the limits and minimizing costly incidents. Leclerc’s exceptional speed, coupled with the team’s ambition to compete at the forefront of Formula 1, will require careful management to ensure his full potential is realized while minimizing unnecessary risks.

The Ferrari team will support Leclerc’s continued pursuit of success, knowing that his performance and relentless drive can be a valuable asset on the path to achieving their ambitions in the highly competitive world of Formula 1.