Charles Leclerc drove 50 laps around Silverstone on Sunday but was not recognized for his performance. The victory lap for the British Grand Prix was only two laps from Ferrari’s driver.
Leclerc moved quickly from fourth to fifth on the grid and overtook ValtteriBottas’ Mercedes. He then saw Max Verstappen take off in front of him following a collision with Lewis Hamilton. This incident gave Leclerc the lead, before race officials stopped it.
Leclerc started well after the code red. After that, a mostly solitary race was held for the Monegask. Leclerc was still plagued with software issues on his power source but he kept his cool and didn’t make any mistakes. Lewis Hamilton was not kept behind by the Ferrari’s incredible speed. The British world champion was able to close the gap to Leclerc despite a ten second penalty. This allowed him to win the race in Copse, two laps before the finish. Verstappen had already left the track at this point.
Leclerc made it known that the loss was bittersweet on the radio. Mattia Binotto, the team boss, stated that Monegask can look back at a strong race with his head held high, giving him his first podium finish this season. The Ferrari driver had to confess that he would be receiving his trophy like a farmer who has a toothache. “It’s hard to enjoy this one hundred percent. It was really an incredible race.”
“I gave not one hundred, but two hundred percent today. Although I gave all, it was not enough for the last two laps. Lewis deserves my congratulations. It was a great effort and it was great to see so many people in the stands. It was fun in the car, but at the end I just lacked that little bit of speed.”
Unexpected hunt for victory
Leclerc was disappointed by the loss, but he also admitted that he didn’t expect to be able fight for victory for so many hours. Although we expected to be competitive after qualifying, it was not the same as today. It was a great experience to be able fight for the win. Particularly on the medium tire, we were very fast. We were a lot faster than Mercedes on the hard tire, although we did fall a little short of Mercedes.
Leclerc sees the strong race as a great boost for the Ferrari team: “I am extremely proud of the team. These types of races are fantastic, they’re a nice encouragement to the entire team and the hardwork that goes into them. This shows that we’re doing something right, and we are moving in the right direction. We must keep going in this direction. We will work hard to climb back up to the top.