Leclerc crashed out on the formation lap at Interlagos, putting him out of the race in dramatic fashion.
The Ferrari driver was set to start Sunday’s race from second on the grid - and given Mercedes’ later struggles - it was a missed opportunity for the team to close in on their rivals in the constructors’ championship.
Speaking after the race, Vasseur explained the issue with Leclerc’s car.
“It’s a system issue where the system shut off the hydraulics and engine,” Vasseur clarified.
“The result of the [issue] from the system we don’t know yet because the car is not back, but it was more an electronic problem.”
“He started to switch off and switch on [the car] and so on. The issue is he made 30 metres and then found himself in the same situation so it was better to stop. No way to recover. When the system switches off you don’t have any more steering or gearbox.”
The Frenchman dismissed any suggestions that Leclerc was at fault for the shunt.
“Today is not Charles’ fault at all. Someone told me that on social media they were complaining about Charles, but without the gearbox and the power steering you can’t do something,” he added.
“Now we have to stay calm, to understand what’s happened to avoid any issues in the future and I think the pace over the weekend was not that bad.”