Charles Leclerc ripped into his Ferrari team, labelling the race "a disaster" after a botched strategy call saw him drop from the lead of his home Monaco Grand Prix to fourth place. Red Bull's Sergio Perez won the race after an impressive drive ahead of Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

The start of the Monaco GP was delayed owing to a sudden downpour. It started behind the safety car, which saw Leclerc hold on to his lead when proper racing got underway. The Monegasque looked comfortable in front and was pulling away from teammate Sainz in second place.

Ferrari opted to pit Leclerc as the track dried out after Perez had stopped for a set of intermediate tyres and was going much quicker than the race leaders. However, three laps later, teammate Sainz, who had stayed out on the wets came in for a set of slicks.

Ferrari decided to double stack and called Leclerc in on the same lap. The Red Bull Racing cars, meanwhile, decided to stay out for one more lap on intermediates before coming in for slick tyres.

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc after his Ferrari broke down last Sunday when in the lead Manu Fernandez/POOL via AFP

The Austrian team benefitted from the overcut as Perez came out ahead of Sainz in the lead, and Verstappen came out ahead of Leclerc in third place. Radio messages between Leclerc and his engineer showed that they tried to keep him out after initially telling him to box, but it was too late as he was already at the pit entry.

The decision to pit the Monaco-born driver behind Sainz cost him added time, which saw him drop from P1 to fourth place, where he eventually finished. Leclerc slammed his team via the radio after taking the chequered flag, and was still angry when he met reporters after the race.

"No words – the season is long but we cannot do that," Leclerc said via the team radio, as quoted on

"It was a freaking disaster today," fumed Leclerc, when he faced the media later. "The win was clearly in our hands: we had the performance, we had everything. I just don't really understand the call that I had and I need explanations for now."

"I couldn't do much, I was called just before the last corner, so I couldn't react or ask for any information, but that was clearly the wrong choice... We need to get better."

Perez's triumph in Monaco saw the Mexican driver close the gap on Verstappen and Leclerc in the Drivers' championship battle. The Dutch racer leads the pack with the Ferrari driver now nine points behind with Perez now just 15 behind his teammate.

Max Verstappen
Red Bull's Max Verstappen is looking to build on his win in Saudi Arabia ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP