Charles Leclerc blamed Ferrari's 'frustrating' pit strategy after finishing second at the Singapore Grand Prix / © AFP
Charles Leclerc will be seeking answers from his Ferrari team after their 'frustrating' pit strategy prevented him from registering a hat-trick of wins but enabled the Italian outfit to secure a one-two finish at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
Fresh off consecutive triumphs in Belgium and Italy, Leclerc qualified on pole for Singapore but was overtaken by Sebastian Vettel during a pit stop and had to settle for a second-place finish as his team mate recorded a first victory in 392 days.
"I was surprised because obviously I was not aware in the car, but I guess if this decision has been made it was for the good of the team and it had to be the only way for us to do a one-two," Leclerc told reporters of Ferrari's strategy to bring Vettel into the pits first and the 21-year-old Monegasque one lap later.
"So if it's the case I completely understand it, but obviously from the car it's very frustrating. So I'm not completely happy but yeah, anyway the overall result of the weekend is very positive," added the Ferrari rookie, who has outshone Vettel in his first season at the team.
"We hoped for at least one car on the podium for this weekend and we go back home with a one-two, which we definitely did not expect on a track like this. So this is very positive."
Venting his frustration on the team radio during three safety car periods late in the race, Leclerc said he would take time to absorb the decisions made on the pit wall but would probably feel better about the result in a few days' time.
"Obviously I think during the safety car I was quite often on the radio, but then as soon as (it) went away I focused on the job and tried to do the best of my race," he added.
"In the car it's frustrating and then as soon as I thought a little bit more about the situation after it, then you see the things maybe a bit differently. Even though I still need some explanations just to understand fully why this decision was taken.
"But yeah, of course it's always frustrating in the car because you only see your situation and you don't see everything else."
The second-place finish moved Leclerc up to third in the standings on 200 points with six races remaining, 96 behind Mercedes' championship leader Lewis Hamilton and six ahead of Vettel before next weekend's race in Russia.