Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari stalled in Barcelona on Sunday after 26 laps due to an engine problem. The Monegasque, who had started from pole position, had dominated the Spanish Grand Prix and was well ahead. Clearly disappointed, he had to park his scarlet car in the pits, his first clean sheet of the season. In addition to a secure victory, he also lost the lead in the world championship to Max Verstappen. The Dutchman won the game and made up 25 points in one go.
Of course, that hurts Leclerc, who now has to travel to Monte Carlo as the second World Cup man. His home race will be held there next weekend. Nevertheless, the feeling after the races in Imola and Miami was worse, says the Ferrari driver. At Imola, Leclerc ended up on the wall in his hunt for second man Sergio Perez. He managed to finish that race but had to settle for sixth place. He then finished second behind Verstappen in Miami. What matters is that the Ferrari was more competitive at Barcelona and the tire management was more in order, Leclerc said of his current feelings.
“It makes me feel better than after the last two race weekends,” said the 24-year-old. “Of course there was a problem with the car and I’m very disappointed. But on the other hand I also see a lot of positives. The winner of the races in Bahrain and Australia is satisfied with his qualifying speed in Barcelona, among other things. “The new package worked as we expected. That’s not a certainty. Everything went well. This also applies to our race pace and tire management. We’ve struggled with that in the last two races compared to Red Bull . Today I was strong.” .”
On the way to the pits on Sunday, a disappointed Leclerc rang clearly over the radio to the team. Back in the garage, he thanked everyone for their efforts with a bell on his shoulder or a handshake. “There’s no reason to be angry,” Leclerc said. “Of course you’re disappointed because you’re fighting for the championship and then every point counts. But I’m sure everyone is now working very hard to find the cause and solve the problem as soon as possible. Everyone is just as disappointed as I am.” ben. There was no need to get angry when I got out of the car. I just wanted to see the mechanics and cheer them up because they were pretty depressed.” Team boss Mattia Binotto also remained positive on Sunday.
Leclerc is now second in the World Cup with 104 points, six fewer than Verstappen. Next Sunday he can try to hit back in front of his home crowd on the streets of Monte Carlo. His home race hasn’t brought Leclerc much luck yet. He retired in 2018 (at Alfa Romeo) and 2019. Last year he took pole but had to retire on the warm-up lap due to technical problems.