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Leclerc: It was impossible in the first 15 laps

Leclerc: It was impossible in the first 15 laps

Leclerc: It was impossible in the first 15 laps

Charles Leclerc rued a brake issue during the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, which meant he couldn’t finish on the podium after qualifying second.

Leclerc was the only driver capable of taking the fight to Max Verstappen during qualifying in Bahrain, and while he failed to snatch pole, he was looking to make amends during the race on Saturday.

However, it was clear that the #16 Ferrari was suffering from the start of the race, overtaken by Mercedes’ George Russell, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, and then by the #55 Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Leclerc was all over the place, locking up his front brakes, and revealed after the race he had an issue with brake temperatures varying between left and right.

He said: “It [brake problem] was impossible in the first 15 laps, the issue was getting a lot worse every lap. Then Lap 15 or 20 the issue stabilized.

“The team told me on the radio it was more than 100 degree split from front right to front left which is huge, so at that moment I understood the best I can do was to bring the car home.

“I couldn’t go round [corners] nine and ten for a few laps,” he revealed. “I was having crazy balance to the rears, lock ups every lap and I was making big changes.”

Leclerc unable to show what Ferrari was capable of

Leclerc was left frustrated with his opening race of 2024, he said: “It’s been a very frustrating race. I was waiting for this race for a long time.

“I wanted to show what we were capable of and in the end we could not show anything on my side because we were completely out of place with break balance and the car in general wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

“We have to analyse where it went wrong, so this issue will not happen [again],” he mainatained.

The Monegasque however managed to beat the Mercedes of Russell finishing fourth behind his teammate who was third, a result he was somehow satisfied with.

“Considering everything, to finish fourth is a really good effort but I’m obviously very disappointed with the result, honestly think second place would have been very possible today,” he concluded.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur reflected on Leclerc’s woes, he said: “Charles struggled for the entire race with the brakes and because of that in the first stint flat-spotted his tyres so we had to pit him earlier than planned.

“We will have to investigate why the brakes were not at the correct temperature,” the Frenchman concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier in Bahrain, Writing by Jad Mallak)