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Leclerc claims Ferrari U-turned on team orders

Leclerc claims Ferrari U-turned on team orders

F1 News

Leclerc claims Ferrari U-turned on team orders

Leclerc claims Ferrari U-turned on team orders
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Charles Leclerc has suggested Ferrari went back on its plan to swap his and Carlos Sainz's positions at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The Monégasque endured a testing weekend at Interlagos, with Ferrari's operational team once again letting him down in qualifying.

Leclerc started the sprint 10th and made up places to start in fifth, but contact with Lando Norris sent him into the barriers at turn six on lap seven.

Somehow recovering, Leclerc found himself fourth in the closing laps with team-mate Sainz ahead.

Despite calls to allow him through to help his push for second in the drivers' championship, with Sergio Perez behind Leclerc on track, Ferrari would not perform a swap, much to its driver's annoyance.

READ MORE: Leclerc claims Ferrari U-turned on team orders

"I kind of understand that Carlos deserved a podium," conceded Leclerc.

"I never usually ask these types of things. I did, because we had a discussion before the race mentioning this case and for some reason, we changed our minds.

"In the heat of the moment it was very frustrating but it is like this."

On whether Fernando Alonso's close proximity to the Ferrari duo prevented the swap, Leclerc replied: "Maybe, I don't know."

Leclerc urges Ferrari driver focus

The result of the 71-lap event, with Perez finishing seventh, means the rivals travel to Abu Dhabi level in the championship.

On how much second would mean having missed out on the title, Leclerc said: "It is always nicer.

"We are doing everything to finish second as a team but I would like us also to look at second place in the drivers' [standings]."

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