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Leclerc believes Ferrari reneged on pre-race promise

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc says an agreement was in place prior to the start of the 2022 F1 Brazilian GP between him and his team

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Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc believes the team came to a consensus before the Brazilian Grand Prix to allow him to overtake teammate Carlos Sainz using team orders if needed.

Leclerc, who is currently battling Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for second in the Drivers’ Championship, finished this past weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix in fourth, one place behind teammate Sainz.

As the race drew to its conclusion, the Monegasque driver made a straightforward request to his team to swap their positions in order to help him gain a better points finish for the championship.

Ferrari however decided to hold station with Sainz keeping his podium and Leclerc finishing in fourth after crashing early on in the race.

The Monegasque driver however believes that the team had a pre-race agreement, where Sainz would be asked to move over for Leclerc if needed.

“We talked about it before the race, otherwise I wouldn’t ask such a thing,” Leclerc told members of the press following the race in Brazil.

“But for some reason they decided to change that. I don’t know why yet, but hopefully we will be fast enough in Abu Dhabi to take second place.”

Charles Leclerc in the pits at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix by Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The five-time Grand Prix winner also alluded to the points lost in Brazil stating that he hoped he wouldn’t lose second in the championship by three points.

Ferrari’s reasoning for decision

After the race Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto explained the team’s rationale for the decision citing a potential penalty for a Safety Car incident and the looming threat Fernando Alonso posed behind his team’s drivers.

Furthermore, Leclerc’s championship rival Sergio Perez also had his own teammate issues, with the Mexican driver unable to gain an extra position after Max Verstappen blatantly refused to follow the team’s instruction to swap places.

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