Charles Leclerc says his small, but costly, mistake at the Variante Alta chicane was “100% bad decision making”, but team boss Mattia Binotto has “no regrets” over allowing him to push.

After a poor start from P2 on the grid – on a first lap where teammate Carlos Sainz was pitched into a race-ending spin by Daniel Ricciardo – Ferrari’s Leclerc could not challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez thereafter and then confounded the team’s disastrous day with an unforced error 10 laps from the chequered flag.

Leclerc took too much kerb on the right-hand entry to the chicane, unsettling the car just enough for the Monegasque to lose the rear end, overcorrect the slide and spin into the barrier. Running in P3 at the time, he was forced to pit to change the damaged front wing and eventually came home in P6 as the sole Ferrari finisher in front of the expectant tifosi.

He had already gambled with a pit stop for soft tyres a few laps before the error, as Ferrari’s strategists took advantage of the pit stop sized gap behind him to stop into. Leclerc therefore visited the pit lane three times in a race where most only stopped once in the lap 18 and 19 intermediate to medium tyre crossover period.

A “disappointed” Leclerc sounded frustrated and dispirited post-race, after seeing his previously dominant Ferrari team be comprehensively beaten by Red Bull on home soil. “I am disappointed because it was a big opportunity for us today and I didn’t score the points we could have done. I think 3rd place was the best we [could have hoped for],” he said.

“I’ve had a season where I haven’t made many mistakes up until now but today was one big one. Realistically we didn’t have the pace of the Red Bull. The Red Bull was too quick for us in all conditions and I tried to put a bit more speed into Turns 14 and 15 to be closer to Checo to try and overtake him into Turn 2 because I saw this was one of the only opportunities of the race and I pushed too much.

“It’s seven points I’ve lost compared to where we were. I would have scored 15 points if I’d finished 3rd and I finished 6th, so it is a shame as these things shouldn’t happen… It was 100% bad decision making, I was 100% pushing too much and should have taken 3rd place,” summed up Leclerc.

Ferrari Team Principal Binotto believes the team made “the right choice” in pitting Leclerc for soft tyres, forcing him to push to potentially catch up to second placed Perez. The Monegasque was the sole Ferrari driver left in the race at that point.

“I think there will never be regrets to ask a driver to push. It’s part of their job to drive to the limit, obviously mistakes can happen,” said Binotto to written media. “I think those cars on the kerbs are a lot stiffer and somehow if you made a small mistake you are paying for it quite a lot, but no regrets, we made the right choice.”

The tumultuous race for Ferrari was compounded by the usual pressures of the home Italian crowd and media focus surrounding the team’s home race, with Binotto rubbishing speculation of these pressures getting to Leclerc and contributing to the mistake.

“Certainly the expectations were very high here in Italy and we tried to calm [Leclerc and Sainz] down and I think we did whatever we could internally in the team to try to relieve the pressure so that they can stay concentrated and focused during the weekend,” Binotto assured. “Whilst they’re driving I don’t think that’s the case, whilst they’re driving they’re trying to do their best.

“Obviously fighting for the best positions, they know they are leading the championships, and when I was hearing the radio at the start of the race it was very calm and I think the way it was managed [meant they] were not feeling the pressure itself. So I think it was a genuine mistake, it may always happen, which cost him some positions and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of that,” summed up Binotto.

Here’s Carlos Sainz appreciating Daniel Ricciardo’s apology

Here’s the moment with Charles Leclerc: