Leclerc: Ferrari can’t expect to fight Mercedes at other 2021 races

Charles Leclerc has warned Ferrari “shouldn’t expect” to be in a position to fight Mercedes for the rest of the 2021 Formula 1 season despite almost winning at Silverstone.

Leclerc: Ferrari can’t expect to fight Mercedes at other 2021 races

Leclerc led 49 of the 52 laps of Sunday’s British Grand Prix after moving to the front of the pack following the clash between title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Copse.

Leclerc sat as much as nine seconds clear of the pack at one point despite managing an engine issue, having seen Hamilton drop back after serving a 10-second penalty for causing the first-lap collision.

But Mercedes driver Hamilton was able to fight back and hunt Leclerc down, ultimately passing him at Copse with three laps to go to record his 99th grand prix victory.

Leclerc felt some frustration over his late defeat after coming so close to a first win since Italy 2019, and while he said the performance proved Ferrari’s strength, he did not think it was a sign of things to come through the rest of this year.

“Going into the weekend, there was absolutely no hope of fighting for a win here in Silverstone,” Leclerc said after the race.

“This shows how great a job we are doing as a team. It’s not an easy situation, but the team is working extremely well. We are working extremely well as a team, and we have shown that today with this second place.

“Now we need to keep on working, because that’s what we want to do consistently: fight for the win.

“It’s great to be fighting today with Lewis, but we shouldn’t expect to be in that position for the rest of the year. For that, we need to keep working.”

The result helped Ferrari take a bite out of McLaren’s advantage in the fight for third place in the constructors’ championship, reducing the gap to 15 points.

It marked Leclerc’s first podium finish of the season after near-misses at Imola, Spain and Baku, where he finished fourth. It was also his first podium since last year’s British Grand Prix.

Asked if he ranked it among his best podium finishes in F1, Leclerc replied: “Yeah, I was really on it every lap.

“I don’t think there is one lap where I did a big mistake. And especially in the first stint, with the problems we had with the engine, I thought my race was over

“I had quite a lot of things to do on the steering wheel, but yeah, I think we managed the situation very, very well.

“We managed to diminish these engine cuts for the rest of the race.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull’s ‘personal’ attacks after British GP too much, says Wolff
Previous article

Red Bull’s ‘personal’ attacks after British GP too much, says Wolff

Next article

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021