"Do something, please!" The radio transmissions that demonstrate how Leclerc lost at Silverstone

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© F1 2022

Charles Leclerc was on track to claim a much-needed victory at the British Grand Prix until the final laps, when everything went wrong for him.

It was highly criticized that his team did not pit him during the Safety Car period at the end of the race. However, Leclerc's remarks indicate that he was more concerned with another part of the team's race management.

After the checkered flag had dropped, Leclerc lamented the amount of time he had lost to his teammate earlier in the race. This rendered him more susceptible than he would have otherwise been when the Safety Car appeared.

Leclerc started the race in third position, behind pole-sitter Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen. They ran in this order initially, until Sainz crashed and handed the lead to Verstappen.

Leclerc warned his crew as early as the 11th lap that he was losing time to Sainz. Twenty laps later, Ferrari altered their running order. Eight laps later, though, the Safety Car was deployed.

Ferrari chose not to bring in Leclerc, who was leading by just three seconds, despite the fact that he was only three seconds ahead. At the restart, he was vulnerable to those who pitted, including Sainz.

Ferrari attempted to organize the restart by instructing Sainz to fall behind his teammate. However, he disregarded the instruction and passed his teammate after a few bends. Despondent, Leclerc dropped to fourth place, scoring fewer than half of the points he had been on track for a few minutes earlier.

Here is how Leclerc and Sainz described the race on their radios.

Leclerc and Sainz transmitted radio communications during the British Grand Prix.

Leclerc sustained damage at the start of the race, but it did not hinder his performance.

2 Marcos Padros So the Safety Car is coming in. You go to the grid and it will be standing start.
3 Leclerc Car is okay.
  Marcos Padros Understood.
4 Marcos Padros Gap to Verstappen in front 1.6. DRS enabled.
5 Leclerc Is all okay on the car?
  Marcos Padros So we lost the right side end plate, front end plate, missing five points.
  Leclerc Okay. Yeah. That’s fine, it feels okay.
  Marcos Padros Copy.
  Marcos Padros And for us it is safe to continue. We can continue.
  Marcos Padros And Perez just pitted for a front wing change.
7 Marcos Padros And easy entry 15, suggestion easy entry 15.
8 Marcos Padros And turn nine is good we just need easy entry turn 15, please.
9 Marcos Padros And pushing status when you can.
  Leclerc Three.
10 Marcos Padros You are doing a good job at turn 15 continue like this.

At the Chapel turn on the tenth circuit, Sainz lost control and handed the lead to Verstappen. Sainz instructed his team to be patient as Leclerc moved up from behind, but the Ferrari driver was already cautioning his team not to allow one vehicle to cost the other time.

11 Marcos Padros So Verstappen is doing more tyre saving at turns one and nine compared to us.     Sainz Let’s stay patient.
  Leclerc If Carlos is struggling let’s not lose time.     Adami Copy
  Marcos Padros Copy understood.     Sainz Let’s see in a few laps.
  Marcos Padros Verstappen lap time 33.6.        
12 Marcos Padros Verstappen has a puncture in front of Sainz. Verstappen will box this lap.     Adami Charles 0.7 behind. 0.8. On DRS.
          Sainz Yeah Max isn’t pulling away. There’s a lot of slipstream effect here.
          Adami Copy that. You have completed lap 11.
          Adami Puncture, Verstappen, puncture, Verstappen. He’s coming in.
          Adami Okay let’s go in clean air, try to recover the pace.

Leclerc became increasingly concerned about the time he was losing behind Sainz, warning the team: “I’m fucking up my race.”

13 Marcos Padros So Verstappen pitted for a new medium.     Adami Charles 1.1 behind with DRS.
  Leclerc We are losing some time.     Adami For info before the off you had there was a gust of wind.
  Marcos Padros Copy understood.     Sainz Yeah I felt it.
          Adami Charles one second behind, one second.
          Adami 0.9 with DRS. One second now.
14 Marcos Padros We need to save tyres in high speed, look after the tyres please.     Adami Charles 1.1 behind, 1.2, with DRS. And look after tyres in the high speed.
  Leclerc Yeah but being that it’s difficult to save. So… yeah.     Sainz I have [unclear] through turn nine, it’s nearly flat.
          Adami Copy that, Charles 0.7 behind.
15 Marcos Padros Understood.     Sainz Struggling with understeer.
  Marcos Padros And we need to save the tyres in high-speed. Our threat is Hamilton, we think.     Adami Copy.
  Marcos Padros And Hamilton lap time was 33.2.     Adami Engine braking plus one and save more tyres in the high speed.
  Leclerc Yep.     Adami Charles 0.6 behind on DRS.
16 Marcos Padros Hamilton lap time behind 33.0.     Adami Charles 0.8 on DRS.
  Leclerc What do I need to do? I mean I’m fucking up my race.     Adami Charles 0.7 behind on DRS.
  Marcos Padros Copy. I will come back to you.     Adami Charles 0.7 behind.
  Leclerc Yeah copy that.        
  Marcos Padros And K1 available.      

At this moment, both Ferrari drivers were becoming extremely frustrated. Leclerc was imploring with the team to "do something," whilst Sainz informed his race engineer that he had heard enough messages to raise his pace:

17 Marcos Padros Sainz is being told that lap time target is 32.9.     Adami Charles lap time… 0.7 behind. And driver default alpha five seven on when you can for more power.
  Leclerc Yeah, but then do something, please! I’m not… I’m not trying to influence my result. I’m just, I can go faster, guys.     Adami Target lap time 32.9. Hamilton is doing this lap time.
  Marcos Padros Copy, understood.     Sainz Copy yeah I will get there once the SOC recovers.
18 Marcos Padros And K1 available.     Adami Copy.
  Leclerc Yeah, copy.     Adami This is a good lap. Keep pushing, you are on Hamilton lap times.
  Marcos Padros So Sainz is being told to push.     Sainz Yep.
          Adami You need to push more, you need to push more. Hamilton…
19 Leclerc Yeah, copy. I try to keep my tyres but I’m just losing race time.     Sainz I’m pushing, okay.
  Marcos Padros Copy.     Adami Hamilton lap time 32.9.
          Adami Charles 0.9 behind.
          Adami Need to push more if you can, head down.
          Sainz Copy, copy.
20 Marcos Padros So Sainz will box this lap.     Adami Need to push, need to push…
  Leclerc Copy that.     Sainz Ricky, don’t tell me again.
          Adami Okay.

Leclerc first protested that he was falling behind teammate Sainz eight laps before Ferrari finally hauled Sainz in. But had he been? Sainz believed that Leclerc's lap timings demonstrated that it was more difficult for him to achieve the goal lap time without using his teammate's DRS.

20         Adami And box, Carlos, box. Pit confirm and box.
          Sainz Copy.
          Adami Let me know for flap.
          Adami Get close to Lando coming out from the pits.
          Sainz A bit up.
          Adami Slippery pit box reminder. K2.
21 Marcos Padros You are doing a good job, keep it like this. Gap to Hamilton behind 2.4.     Adami He’ll be around one second in front of Lando, keep pushing, also white line.
          Adami Charles lap time 33.3.
22 Marcos Padros Hamilton time 32.8. Warm-up for the hards better than expected.     Sainz Yeah I told you he’d lose a lot of slipstream.
  Marcos Padros So Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car are open. And gap to Hamilton behind 2.2. We need to keep it like this.     Adami Copy that. And Hamilton lap time 32.8, for info, you are doing good.
          Sainz Where is Hamilton?
          Adami Hamilton behind Charles, two seconds. And we are on Charles pit window right now.

Leclerc entered the race after stretching his first stint longer than Sainz had, giving him a tyre performance advantage that made it simpler for him to exert pressure on his teammate:

23 Marcos Padros Hamilton lap time 32.4.    
  Marcos Padros Gap to Hamilton behind 1.7.    
  Marcos Padros And we need full push, full push.    
24 Marcos Padros Hamilton lap time behind 32.6. Gap to him 1.4. Sainz I have understeer, I don’t know why. It’s like I’ve lost rear-left.
  Marcos Padros And flap update when you can. Adami Charles lap time 33.0.
  Leclerc Okay like this.    
  Marcos Padros Next guy in front will be Tsunoda. He will have blue flags.    
25 Marcos Padros And mode box. Adami And push now, he is in mode box.
  Marcos Padros Solid blues for Tsunoda in front. Adami Charles is coming in, will be around one second behind.
  Marcos Padros And box now box, pit confirm.    
26 Marcos Padros So we’ll be one second behind Sainz. K2 off at turn three. And watch the white line on exit. Adami He’s two seconds behind you.
  Marcos Padros So Gap to Sainz in front 2.1.

While Leclerc was focused on defeating Verstappen, Ferrari was focused on maintaining its lead over Hamilton.

26 Leclerc Is Verstappen in front?    
  Marcos Padros So Verstappen is not a threat. He’s P8, he had some reliability issues before.    
27 Marcos Padros The only threat is Hamilton for us. Adami Charles is 1.5 behind.
  Marcos Padros Information: Hamilton lap times, 32.6. Adami Target lap time 32.2. You can push more on tyres, we are safe to the end. Charles lap time 32.0.
28 Marcos Padros Tyre life is good to the end of the race. Let’s look after these tyres. Adami And Hamilton lap time 32.4 and he’s a threat if he’s stopping.

Once more, Leclerc found himself falling behind Sainz. Now Ferrari has given Sainz a target lap time and informed him that if he does not meet it, he would have to let his teammate by.

28 Leclerc Are we fighting or not? That’s crucial for the tyres. Sainz Okay but my front-left is not the best-looking.
  Marcos Padros So we are right on top of the pit window from Hamilton. Adami Copy.
  Leclerc If Carlos can, push a bit more so we can have a bit more margin. Adami Charles lap time 32.0, Hamilton faster now.
  Marcos Padros And we are free to fight, free to fight. Adami Target lap time 32.1.
29 Marcos Padros And Hamilton lap time 32.2. Sainz Copy.
  Leclerc Yeah when I’m getting close I’m killing the tyres. Adami You need to meet the target lap time, 32.1, 32.1.
  Marcos Padros Copy, understood. Sainz Copy.
      Adami Target lap time 32.2. Otherwise, we’re swapping their cars.
30 Marcos Padros So target lap time for Sainz is 32.2 otherwise we’ll swap. Sainz Okay one more lap.
  Leclerc But we are losing time compared to Hamilton. Three two is not enough in my opinion, for [unclear]. Sainz And this lap is coming better.
  Marcos Padros Understood. Adami Copy.

Sainz believed his lap times were improving, but Ferrari disagreed, and Leclerc remained within DRS range. Two were instructed to switch positions:

30 Marcos Padros In front of Sainz there’s Tsunoda, he will have blue flags. Adami Charles 0.6 behind, on DRS.
31 Marcos Padros So we will swap the cars into turn six. Be careful Tsunoda in front with solid blues. Adami This is not good enough, we are swapping the cars.
  Marcos Padros And target lap time 32.2. Sainz Copy.
  Marcos Padros Sainz behind with DRS. Adami And do it turn six. Flashing blues [unclear]. Solid now.
  Marcos Padros And Hamilton lap time 32.6. Adami And we are in Hamilton pit window. Hamilton lap time 32.6.
32 Marcos Padros Sainz behind with DRS.    
  Marcos Padros Sainz behind with DRS.    
  Marcos Padros And SOC five when you can.  

Now that Leclerc was finally sprinting in open air, he started to pull away from Sainz. Mercedes stated after the race that, had the Safety Car not intervened, Hamilton would have been able to pass Sainz, but not Leclerc, who was faster.

33 Marcos Padros So that’s a good lap time. Hamilton lap time 32.0.
  Marcos Padros If Hamilton stops he will be 0.8 behind.
  Marcos Padros And Hamilton just pitted now, full push.
  Marcos Padros So Hamilton on hards.
34 Marcos Padros So Hamilton is behind Ricardo with blue flags.
  Marcos Padros And we need driver default alpha five seven on. Alpha five seven on.
35 Marcos Padros So information gap to Sainz behind 1.8, Hamilton behind you at six seconds.
  Marcos Padros And SOC six when you can.
  Marcos Padros And try to look after the tyres.
  Marcos Padros And 17 laps to go. One seven to go.
36 Marcos Padros And easy turns nine and 15. Look after the fronts.
  Marcos Padros So Hamilton is still behind Ricciardo and Hamilton lap time 32.1.
  Marcos Padros Information: Gap to Sainz behind 3.0.

Just as Leclerc appeared to be on track for victory, the one undesirable occurrence occurred. Due to Esteban Ocon's stop on the old start-finish straight, the Safety Car was deployed.

Ferrari had little time to make a decision. As Leclerc's hard tyres were fresher than Sainz's, they swiftly determined that the wisest course of action would be to leave him in the lead but bring the following car in for new rubber. Following Sainz's example were Hamilton, Perez, and Fernando Alonso.

39 Marcos Padros And take care of the tyres in high speed. Lap time from saying 32.0, Hamilton behind him, 31.3.. Adami We are happy with the last lap. Ocon is slow before turn nine, where you are.
  Marcos Padros And Ocon slow in front. Adami Switch position yellow, switch position yellow. Ocon stopping before turn nine.
  Marcos Padros Safety Car window is closed. Safety Car window is closed. Adami Box for soft, box for soft.
  Leclerc And VSC too? Sainz Copy.
  Marcos Padros Yes. Yes. Closed. Stay out. Stay out. Adami Let me know for flap.
  Leclerc Yeah, copy. Adami Hamilton is coming in behind.
  Marcos Padros Safety Car deployed, take care of these tyres. Sainz Er, go up 0.2.
  Marcos Padros And radio off, okay. So Sainz and Hamilton behind they just pitted. And radio off please.  

Leclerc soon realized he was in a precarious circumstance:

40 Leclerc I think I was in front of the Safety Car. Adami Okay copy. K2 on. Slippery pit box.
  Marcos Padros We’ll come back to… Adami And Hamilton on soft behind.
  Leclerc He should let me past, should let me past. Adami And save fuel.
  Marcos Padros So we checked and we were behind. Charge button on, charge on and radio off please. Adami Recharge on. Save fuel.
  Leclerc Can we box or is it too late now? Adami Reset your switch. Hamilton slowing down behind. Hamilton slowing down behind.
  Marcos Padros It’s too late now. So Sainz and Hamilton behind with new soft. Sainz Why?
  Leclerc Copy. That’s going to be hard. Adami Just opening the gap. Save fuel. I mean, for you, save as much as you can.
  Marcos Padros Try to focus on these tyres to get ready. Adami More weaving for tyre warm-up.
  Leclerc What is the tyre offset? Adami So Hamilton behind on soft.
  Marcos Padros I will come back to you. Ocon still there, slow, stopped. Sainz How many laps left?

Ferrari instructed Sainz to give Leclerc 10 car lengths of room at the restart to shield him from an immediate attack. This message was broadcast together with Sainz's denial, which Ferrari did not override.

Although Ferrari informed Leclerc of the direction given to Sainz, they did not inform him that his teammate had disobeyed it.

41 Marcos Padros We think it will restart at the end of this lap. Sainz How many laps of Safety Car you reckon? For the fuel and the tyres.
  Marcos Padros We believe it will be the restart now, this lap. Adami I think it will be one more, I believe. Or restart this lap, it should be soon. Anyway priority is to defend on Hamilton on soft and see what happens.
  Leclerc What is the smoke on the front left? Sainz Are we priority fuel or tyres?
  Marcos Padros Just, just the brakes. Take care of the brakes. Adami Priority… we should be okay at the end of this lap.
  Marcos Padros Just hot brakes at the front. Take care of them. Adami The lapped cars may now overtake. Lando, sorry Ricciardo, behind. Ricciardo coming through now. Tsunoda coming through now. Driver default delta zero zero on.
  Marcos Padros So Sainz has been told that the priority is to defend from Hamilton. And when we cross the start and finish line, it will be 11 laps to go. Sainz Guys, I’m going to be a lot quicker than Charles.
  Leclerc The soft will be quicker for how many laps? Adami Copy.
  Marcos Padros We think only two laps, two laps quicker.    
  Marcos Padros And lapped cars will now overtake.    
  Leclerc Ah come on.    
42 Marcos Padros And tyres are okay. Sainz Tyres are priority?
  Marcos Padros So it’s just a reminder K2 off turn three and then K1 available. Adami Yes they are, good on fuel, good to go to the end.
  Marcos Padros And when we cross the line, it will be 10 laps to go. Ten laps to go. Adami It’d be K2 only at the restart. Safety Car in lap.
  Marcos Padros Easier on brakes. Adami And the instruction is to give 10 car lengths to Charles, some breathing space. Within 10, within 10.
  Marcos Padros Will be K2 on. Sainz But guys, I’m under pressure from Hamilton. Please don’t ask these things. Please. Please. Let’s just stop inventing, stop inventing. I’m under pressure, guys. Trust me, there’s more to lose like that.
  Leclerc Yeah. Yeah. Adami Copy that. Copy.

At the restart, Sainz swiftly pounced on Leclerc and passed him. Perez and Hamilton both appear to have passed Alonso, but he was able to retain him behind the flag for fourth position.

44 Leclerc Gap to Perez behind 0.4.
  Marcos Padros Perez behind fighting with Hamilton.
  Marcos Padros Gap to Perez behind 0.7.
45 Marcos Padros DRS enabled.
  Marcos Padros Perez behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros Only K1 available.
  Marcos Padros Perez behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros SOC nine when you can.
46 Marcos Padros Hamilton behind with DRS. And six laps to go.
47 Marcos Padros Hamilton behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros And SOC nine when you can.
48 Marcos Padros Hamilton behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros Hamilton behind with DRS, good job.
  Marcos Padros Gap to Alonso behind 0.4.
49 Marcos Padros And four laps to go. Alonso behind with DRS. Tyres are ready.
  Leclerc Well, I won’t expect [unclear]. Fucking hell.
  Marcos Padros You’re doing a good job.
  Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS and SOC eight when you can.
  Marcos Padros Three laps to go. Gap to Alonso behind 0.7.
50 Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros And SOC eight when you can.
  Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros And just use K1.
51 Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS.
  Marcos Padros And last lap.
52 Marcos Padros Alonso behind with DRS.
  Leclerc Yeah, yeah. It’s okay for now. Leave me alone. Thank you.
  Leclerc Alonso behind with DRS.

If Ferrari had taken measures early in the race to prevent Leclerc from losing time to Sainz, would he have amassed a sufficient lead to be safe when the Safety Car was deployed?

Clearly, Leclerc was pondering the topic at the conclusion of the race. Even Sainz could see that his teammate was unfairly treated given the circumstances.

53 Leclerc The amount of race time that we have lost in this race… oh my God. The only good thing about today is that Carlos won but fricking hell guys, anyway. Enjoy the victory. Adami Wow, wow, wow! Vamos! Good job.
  Marcos Padros Copy, understood. You’ve done a really good job. Sainz We did it! Yes! We did it! Yes! Vamos!
      Binotto Bravo Carlos [unclear]
      Adami And Hamilton went for 30.5 there last lap. Well, you tried your best. Was a mega race.
      Sainz Yeah he can have it! I don’t care today. I don’t care.
      Binotto Una gara bellissma meritata, Carlos. Un contentissimo per me. [A beautiful, deserved race, Carlos. A delight for me.]
      Adami And charge button on. And thank you very much for this race.
      Sainz Thank you Ricky for all the effort you put it this year.
      Sainz Thank you and the team of course. Everyone. My first race win in Formula1 and with Ferrari is… you cannot imagine how it feels. And in Silverstone.
      Sainz Yeah. I’m sorry for Charles he deserves better than that today.