In a brilliant strategic move that would prove pivotal in Ferrari’s success at the Singapore Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc made a calculated decision to opt for soft tires. This tactical choice would ultimately contribute to his teammate Carlos Sainz’s triumphant performance on the challenging Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Leclerc, who initially led the race, provided crucial insights into his race-day strategy, which had one clear objective: to secure Ferrari’s first victory of the year. His choice to start on soft tires catapulted him ahead of George Russell at the race’s outset, giving Ferrari a promising 1-2 lead in the initial phase.
However, the race took a dramatic turn on Lap 20 when a Safety Car was deployed following Logan Sargeant’s incident. This forced Leclerc to queue up in the pits, resulting in him losing positions to Russell and Lando Norris.
In a post-race interview, Leclerc candidly acknowledged that winning the race was not his primary aim. Instead, he revealed that his foremost goal was to assist his teammate, Carlos Sainz, in securing Ferrari’s elusive victory for the season. Leclerc explained his last-minute change of strategy, stating, “Honestly, this wasn’t the plan. Since this morning, things have been very, very clear, and that’s why I went on the soft.”
He further elaborated on his decision, saying, “I changed my mind very last minute just to make sure that I was in front of George in the first stint because then it was really clear it was beneficial for Carlos because obviously he was making the gap.” This strategic maneuver not only showcased Leclerc’s selflessness but also highlighted the teamwork and synergy within the Ferrari camp.
However, despite his strategic brilliance, Leclerc’s race encountered unexpected challenges, primarily due to ill-timed Safety Car periods. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been very lucky with the Safety Cars. That meant I had to wait inside the pits for traffic, and there I basically lost the race,” Leclerc lamented.
Despite these setbacks, Leclerc emphasized that the win remained the top priority for Ferrari. He credited effective race management by the team as a crucial factor in their ultimate success.