CHARLES LECLERC now lies 80 points behind Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship.
F1: Leclerc says Ferrari career has 'exceeded expectations'
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Ferrari has “something wrong” at the team which is impacting Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz’s chances, according to former Ferrari boss Cesare Fiorio. Fiorio says the team are making “mistakes” and challenged team boss Mattia Binotto to sort out the problems.
Fiorio was team boss at the Italian marquee from 1989 to 1991 and helped manage the likes of Alain Prost. However, he hit back at the modern team’s strategy errors which have plagued their season.
He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Something is obviously wrong at Ferrari, mistakes are made. Binotto has to get to the bottom of it – that’s his biggest challenge now.” Ferrari looked title favourites after Leclerc picked up two wins from the first three races as Red Bull suffered mechanical failures.
However, the tide quickly turned with Ferrari picking up their own reliability woes as Max Verstappen won. Both Leclerc and Verstappen have suffered two retirements due to mechanical issues this season but Ferrari have struggled more.
READ MORE: Mattia Binotto disagrees with angry Charles Leclerc after ‘disaster’
Mattia Binotto is under pressure at Ferrari (Image: Getty)
A range of strategy mistakes have squandered the team’s chances this season with Leclerc losing points down to team errors in Monaco, Britain and Hungary. Last time out, Ferrari stopped Leclerc for hard tyres that lacked pace and stopped him away from the leading battle.
Eventually, Ferrari stopped him again for softs but this ensured Leclerc could only finish sixth despite looking to challenge for the win. Fiorio has admitted the drivers were “not to blame” for the lack of results this season.
The former boss claims the team “have two great drivers” who are among the “top five” talents on the grid.
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Charles Leclerc has lost points after strategy errors (Image: Getty)
However, he has hit back at modern F1 teams’ reliance on computers to decide strategy options and a lack of creativity from the pit wall.
He added: “I think modern facilities like a remote command centre are absurd. This room in the racing car factory, where specialists are supposed to support the team on-site, only makes everything more complicated.
“Decisions made in a matter of seconds that make the difference between victory and defeat must be based on the instinct and experience of the professionals on the ground, not on tens of thousands of calculations.
“But, on the other hand, there is never a lack of know-it-alls who are sitting comfortably on the sofa at home and who are not under the pressure on the racetrack.”