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“Had to Copy Oscar Piastri”: Fred Vesseur Admits to Plagarism for Charles Leclerc Instead of Strategising Within Ferrari

Published 03/24/2024, 11:53 AM EDT

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Carlos Sainz Jr fans are celebrating all over as he takes the win right after recovering from surgery. On the other hand, Charles Leclerc didn’t do that well at the Australian Grand Prix. This could be extremely disappointing for Ferrari, as they have decided to drop the better driver during the season.

After coming 2nd, Charles Leclerc was unhappy with his result and he felt the same way during the qualifiers. He took things one step ahead and decided to abandon the last lap of the qualifiers because of not being comfortable with his setup. Following the race, the team principal Frederic Vasseur has come forth to talk about the difference in the setups of the two drivers.

Ferrari copied McLaren during the Australian Grand Prix

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Ferrari made a 1-2 finish with Carlos Sainz in the lead and one of the reasons for Leclerc not winning was the fact that he had a different setup. This was noticed by interviewers who popped the question to Frederic Vasseur after the race. When asked, “Tyre management between LEC and Sai was different, was Charles’ set-up wrong?”, the team principal Fred replied, “No no, it was more because of race circumstances, we had to copy Piastri’s strategy […] Charles was very good on the last stint.”

Explaining that the team went with similar tyres, as McLarens Oscar Piastri. Being an Australian born in Melbourne, Oscar Piastri has more knowledge about the track, and following his strategy is one way that Ferrari thought they would conquer the race, which they did.

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Frederic Vasseur called to go with slightly harder tyres to reduce the wear and tear. However, this was not an original idea of his, as he did see McLaren going for the same and decided to follow their strategy in the heat of the moment.

While Charles Leclerc is a contender for the World Champion title, the race belonged to Carlos Sainz from the start. Having something to prove can really boost productivity, and Sainz is having no problems showing Ferrari who the better driver is. But now with Sainz catching everyone’s attention, the question still hanging on everyone’s head is, where will he be racing next year, and that is something only time will tell. That being said, let’s take a look at all the major events that transpired during the Australian Grand Prix.

Australian Grand Prix 2024 recap

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According to the pecking order, Carlos Sainz won the race with his teammate behind him. The Ferraris were closely followed by McLaren who also managed to overtake Red Bull during the race. While Sergio Perez finished P5, his teammate Max Verstappen had to retire from the race due to a fire in the rear-right tire.

To be honest, the race was not great for any of the world champions on the grid. While Max Verstappen had a fire, Lewis Hamilton also faced issues with the power unit which suddenly lost all its speed. Fernando Alonso also had a bad race with him getting a penalty of 20 seconds for causing an accident for George Russell. With that, he dropped from P6 to P8. This also means that both the Mercedes cars were retired during the race.

The penalty for Alonso gave a chance for Lance Stroll to shine. Other drivers to score points in the race were, Yuki Tsunoda, Nico Hülkenberg, and Kevin Magnussen, finished at P8,9, and 10 respectively. That being said, looking at Ferrari’s performance this year, do you think they have a shot at the Constructors Championship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Big Blow to Fred Vasseur as Charles Leclerc Goes on a Ballistic Rant Following Abandoned Quali Lap

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri

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Viren Mirpuri is an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. With a Degree in Mass Media and a Specialization in Journalism, Viren is known for his speedy race day coverage outside of discussing the engine technicalities. Whether he's dissecting the latest technical innovations or unraveling the drama on and off the track, he ensures that his readers stay engaged and informed.
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Edited by:

Shreya Singh