On paper, Charles Leclerc made an impressive save this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, lifting his Ferrari F1-75 from 19th on the grid to P5. But Monaco felt more could have been achieved, describing Sunday in Montreal as “extremely frustrating”.
But although Ferrari clipped Leclerc’s wing to aid in straight-line speed and overtaking, his movement in the standings wasn’t quite as fast as he would have liked, with the Monegasque driver getting stuck on a DRS train at one point, before Laps spent 21-40 trying and failing to overtake. The Alps of Esteban Acon.
The slow stop, which dropped him behind a brawling group of midfielders he had already passed once, compounded Leclerc’s frustration – although his solid pace on the last task meant he was at least able to climb into the P5, to score 10 points.
“It was a very frustrating race,” Leclerc said. “The last part was nice but obviously the first part I was stuck on the DRS train and couldn’t do anything. Then in the middle part of the race I found myself stuck behind Esteban, who had much newer tires, so from Turn 10, when the tires happen A difference indeed, he had very good traction and that was enough for him to keep behind all the time.”
With Leclerc’s fellow protagonist, Max Verstappen, the protagonist took Fifth win in six racesFerrari’s silver lining was that Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull failed to finish, allowing Leclerc to lock in three points from the Mexican. P2 in the ranking.
But Leclerc was also buoyed by the strong pace of teammate Carlos Sainz, who finished less than a second ahead of Verstappen.
When asked if he felt he could have beaten Verstappen without his engine penalty, Leclerc replied: “I don’t know, I have no idea because I haven’t seen Red Bull at all during the race, they were both in front. But the feeling was good and the more the feeling was, This is a good sign.
“Whether or not that was enough to beat Red Bull, I don’t know. I think he was close during the whole season and would have closed today. I don’t know but I felt like Carlos was strong today, so it shows he was going to be close, as he was with Carlos” .
Canadian Grand Prix 2022: Leclerc overtakes Bottas in final round to take P7
Leclerc, meanwhile, added that he was impressed by the speed of Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell who finished ahead of Monaco in P3 and P4 – with Leclerc predicting that if they can continue their current trend they will be in the chase for wins soon.
“I don’t have the full picture of the race today, but they looked strong,” he said. “They looked a lot stronger than before, and if they were always at this level, they could join this fight for victories.”
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