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Leclerc: Plenty of positives to take away from this race

Leclerc: Plenty of positives to take away from this race

Leclerc: Plenty of positives to take away from this race

Charles Leclerc leaves Imola looking at the glass-half-full after finishing third in the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The first positive for Leclerc is that he is now second in the 2024 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship behind Max Verstappen, dropping Sergio Perez to third.

And while the Tifosi were hopeful to witness a Ferrari win on Sunday at Imola, given the upgraded SF-24’s promising pace early in the weekend, a podium for Leclerc was the best their beloved Scuderia could achieve, after a disappointing qualifying, but early signs show that the revised Red single seater shows promise.

Reflecting on his race in Ferrari’s post race report, Leclerc said: “Today’s race went well and we got even closer to our rivals.

“If we had qualified higher up, we could have presented our fans with an even better result,” he went on. “After changing on to the Hard tyres I had great pace and managed to make up ground on Lando (Norris) and Max (Verstappen,) but in the end the McLaren was quicker than us, although not by much.

“Overall, there are plenty of positives to take away from this race: the upgrades worked as expected and we are more competitive. We must continue to work to close the gap, which although small, still separates us from the race winner.

“Obviously, we dedicate this result and our performance to the Tifosi who are the best fans in the world and they always support us come what may. I’m sure we’ll soon be able to pay them back with a win,” Leclerc concluded.

Carlos Sainz had a lowkey race at Imola in the second Ferrari, finishing fifth, he said: “I cannot be happy after what was a tough race for me.

“I need to review it with the team to understand why I’ve not been comfortable with the car both in qualifying and today pace-wise.

“We will regroup tomorrow to start preparing for Monaco and hopefully we can get a better result there. The fight at the top is starting to get tight and we need to continue pushing,” the Spaniard concluded.

Ferrari are on the pace now

Fred Vasseur, Ferrari’s Team Principal was glad his team managed a podium in front of their home fans, but lamented a bad qualifying while also hailing the step forward the upgraded SF-24 delivered.

He said: “First of all I would like to thank all the tifosi as it was very special to see them under the podium after the race. They brought us a lot of energy this week.

“Overall, it was a good weekend beyond the performance on track,” he added. “Today we brought home the best result we could, as it is very difficult to overtake here.

“When we were pushing we were able to close the gap, but we had to be careful about overheating the tyres and we did not have enough pace difference to overtake

“Unfortunately, the outcome of the Grand Prix was very much connected to yesterday’s qualifying and we need to do a better job in the next races as we can now see that our competitiveness in the race itself has really improved,” the Frenchman lamented.

“I think today’s race was also a very good advert for Formula 1 as we saw three teams in seven seconds after more than 60 laps, which means the gaps are less than one tenth per lap.

“We are definitely on the pace now and we can fight for the top spot, even if we still need to make a small step forward,” Vasseur concluded.