Leclerc believes Ferrari still has a significant amount of work to do in order to catch up to Red Bull, despite his second podium finish of the season at the Red Bull Ring. He finished in second place, having also secured third place in Azerbaijan earlier in the season.
During the race, Leclerc briefly took the lead by undercutting Max Verstappen during a virtual safety car period, but he was eventually overtaken and fell 24 seconds behind the leading Red Bull. Towards the end of the race, Verstappen made a pit stop to secure the fastest lap, reducing the gap between Leclerc and the leader to just 5 seconds at the finish.
Although Leclerc was satisfied with Ferrari’s improved performance and the pressure they put on Verstappen, he acknowledged that Red Bull’s dominant 1-3 result indicated that Ferrari still has a lot of ground to cover in order to catch up to them.
Leclerc commented, “I believe we maximized our potential this weekend, especially considering our qualifying position on Friday. It was yesterday’s sprint race where I struggled to keep up. However, it feels great to be back on the podium.”
He also mentioned that the recent upgrades to the front wing and floor of the Ferrari SF-23 improved his confidence in the car’s performance, which bodes well for the future. However, he emphasized that there is still a significant amount of work to be done, as both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez demonstrated superior pace during the race.
Leclerc explained that his early aggressive pit stop was an attempt to gain track position, as the Ferrari struggles in dirty air. While he was aware that it would be challenging to keep Verstappen behind in the long run due to his race pace, Leclerc gave his best effort. Nevertheless, he expressed satisfaction with being back on the podium after a few challenging races.
Looking ahead to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Leclerc expressed optimism, as historically, the circuit has suited Ferrari. Coupled with the new upgrades, he believes the SF-23s can provide a greater challenge to the Red Bull cars.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari’s progress
What position did Charles Leclerc finish in at the Red Bull Ring?
Charles Leclerc finished in second place at the Red Bull Ring.
How many podium finishes has Leclerc secured this season?
Leclerc has secured two podium finishes this season, with a second-place finish at the Red Bull Ring and a third-place finish in Azerbaijan.
Did Ferrari make any improvements to their car for the race?
Yes, Ferrari introduced upgrades to the front wing and floor of their car, which made Leclerc feel more confident in the car’s performance.
What did Leclerc say about Ferrari’s performance compared to Red Bull?
Leclerc acknowledged that Ferrari has made progress, but he emphasized that there is still a lot of work to be done to catch up with Red Bull, as they demonstrated superior pace during the race.
How did Leclerc manage to briefly take the lead during the race?
Leclerc took the lead by undercutting Max Verstappen during an early virtual safety car period.
How did the gap between Leclerc and Verstappen decrease towards the end of the race?
The gap between Leclerc and Verstappen decreased to 5 seconds at the finish because Verstappen made a late pit stop to secure the fastest lap of the race.
Which upcoming race does Leclerc believe will provide a challenge to Red Bull?
Leclerc believes that the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which historically suits Ferrari, along with the new upgrades, will provide a greater challenge to the Red Bull cars.