With a fifth-place finish at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc is losing to his biggest title rival Max Verstappen at the World Championships, who has already celebrated his sixth win of the season from a total of nine races in Montreal.
Monegasque started the race from 19th after swapping some engine components, which resulted in a grid penalty. However, he had expected more as he went into the race in fifth place.
“It wasn’t too bad, but the pit stop certainly put us in some unfavorable position,” Leclerc says. The Ferrari driver switched to medium tires on lap 42 after starting the race on hard compound. However, there was a problem with the rear jack, which meant it took a full 5.3 seconds to replace Leclerc’s tire.
Leclerc runs from one DRS train to another
As a result, he returned to the track behind a quartet of Stroll, Zhou, Tsunoda and Ricciardo and had to plow the field again. “We had already left the DRS train behind us, but after a slow pit stop, another DRS train came. So I had to push the tires immediately, which cost me some,” Leclerc analyzed .
During the race, Monegasse got stuck several times. It took a few laps initially to overtake Alexander Albon and Valtteri Bottas, while the latter got caught behind a couple of times by alpine riders.
“Overall it was a race in which I had to be patient. I was stuck behind a DRS train at the start and Esteban in the middle of the race. [Ocon], who had very new tires and was much better than the turn ten. That was enough to hold me back.”
Leclerc struggles with traction at the start
Leclerc is dissatisfied that he could not overtake more easily: “In the beginning it was just about thinking about the end of the race and not getting too frustrated because I couldn’t do anything when everyone had Drs. was.”
Strategically, though, there was no other option: “I don’t think there was any other good solution today to get a free ride,” says Leclerc, who had serious traction problems at the end of his first stint on hard tires. out of the hairpin.
“There was no traction problem in the first half of the race. It was just that everyone had DRS and I couldn’t do anything. Then there was a huge traction problem in the middle, but it was really just because Esteban There were new tyres. So in turn ten where you need tyres, they had a lot more grip than mine. All things considered, the P5 was the best possible result.”
Leclerc had no chance against Mercedes at the end of the race
In the end, Monegasque was unable to do anything against two Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell after the safety car stage. He left it open whether the podium would have been possible without his difficulties.
“Things could have been different without these things. I don’t think we could have done anything better in the middle stint. That was just the situation we were in. But the pit stop cost us a lot today.”
How difficult it was to overtake the DRS train was shown at the end of the race when Leclerc tried no more on the long straight and therefore caught two alpines in the hairpin with two daring braking maneuvers.
“I just had to push a little more, be a little more aggressive and take a little more risk to get a few more points. It worked out in the end, so it was fun,” Leclerc said.
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