Charles Leclerc right to feel upset at outcome - Mattia Binotto
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto says Charles Leclerc has a right to feel aggrieved at the manner in which the Chinese Grand Prix played out.
Leclerc jumped team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the start to hold third place, but the Ferrari driver was unable to keep pace with the leading Mercedes duo.
Ferrari issued Leclerc with a hurry-up and shortly afterwards instructed him to allow Vettel through, an order which he obeyed along the pit straight.
Vettel, though, was unable to significantly pull ahead of Leclerc, and the youngster instead dropped behind Max Verstappen following the first round of stops, after Red Bull used the undercut.
Leclerc classified fifth, behind Vettel and Verstappen, and commented post-race that he wanted to understand the “full picture” of Ferrari’s decision.
“I understand the feeling of Charles,” Binotto told Sky Sports F1 of the decision.
“I think it is a shame for him but at that stage of the race the Mercedes were slightly faster.
“We simply tried to give Sebastian a go to see if he could catch the pace of the Mercedes at that stage of the race.
“It was not to give the advantage to one driver over the other, we, as a team, tried whatever we could at an important moment of the race.
“I think if Charles is upset he is right to be upset. I think it’s a shame for him. But maybe next time it will be to his advantage.”
Ferrari’s race result means it has now dropped 57 points behind Mercedes, which picked up its third straight 1-2 to maintain its unbeaten start to 2019.
“Mercedes has been fast the entire weekend since Friday, they have been fastest in qualifying and they proved to be faster today as well,” said Binotto.
“I think what is interesting is that within two races the situation has changed completely.
“We were fast in Bahrain, two weeks after it has been the opposite. I think this is the way we need to look at the championship, each single race the cars will be different.
“It’s our duty and task now to turn up the cars as much as we can and make sure we are always on top.”