Ferrari 'understand' Leclerc frustration as he demands answers

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto "understands" Charles Leclerc's frustration after another team orders call at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Monegasque had managed to move in front of his teammate Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 at the start but as the race settled in the pace of the Mercedes was a little too quick to handle.

With the German staying around a second behind, the decision was made to swap the cars but the difference would be minimal as it was Leclerc who remained on the tail of Vettel.

"I did a good start, and then the first stint was a little bit messy," the 21-year-old admitted post-race.

"Obviously, I think you’ve seen on TV with Seb. I need to understand the full picture, to see the full picture, to speak with the engineers and understand the decision.

"I’m pretty sure there is an explanation behind this decision and I will understand it. Anyway, it’s in the past, but overall the weekend has not been as strong as I wanted driving-wise but we’ll come back stronger."

Giving the team's side of the story, Binotto insisted the call was not about any kind of favouritism towards Vettel, despite earlier in the weekend saying he would continue to be the "priority".

"I understand the feeling of Charles, I think it is a shame for him but at that stage of the race, the Mercedes' were slightly faster," he stated.

"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," Binotto added. "I think it’s a shame for him, but maybe next time it will be to his advantage."

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Further adding to Leclerc's difficulties was his strategy being compromised, thus allowing Max Verstappen to claim fourth.

"If you look at my own race, I think obviously we would have pitted earlier," he said. "If you look at the team race, I think they did the right thing trying to slow down the Mercedes for Seb to come back, which was I believe the target.

"It didn’t work, but it was the target. At least we tried, and we’ll look forward now."