Leclerc admits Ferrari has more work to do amid Belgium podium finish

Leclerc admits Ferrari has more work to do amid Belgium podium finish

Charles Leclerc performed impressively in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, but he was the first to acknowledge that the performance showed how much work still needed to be done for Ferrari to be back in the running for victories and championships.

Max Verstappen received a penalty for taking an extra gearbox this weekend, and as a result, he was pushed down to sixth on the grid giving Charles Leclerc the pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix race.

In the final round of qualifying, the Red Bull had a commanding 0.820s lead over Leclerc and the rest of the field. Verstappen’s victory margin also highlighted his dominance in the race.

Verstappen led teammate Sergio Perez by 22 seconds. Leclerc had started alongside Perez on the first row, and the two quickly passed the Ferrari on the opening lap.

A troubling indicator of how much faster the RB19 was than the SF-23 this weekend is that Leclerc finished the race in third place, ten seconds further behind the second Red Bull driver Perez. However, Leclerc was content to have beaten Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes in the race’s second half.

In response to a question from Sky Sports f1 analyst Martin Brundle in the parc ferme asking Perez if he was certain he would be able to retain the podium, Perez said: “Yes, until I was told to do some fuel saving. This was quite big at the end of the race.

“There I was struggling a bit more. But the pace was there to keep him behind. Then I knew he was going to pit {for fresh tyres to try for the bonus point] for the fastest lap, which made my life a little bit easier.

Leclerc hailed Ferrari for a positive weekend despite Carlos Sainz crashing.

“We have had quite a positive weekend on our side in terms of pace,” Leclerc insisted. “The race went good on my side, but a shame for Carlos because we had a concluded pace.”

Sainz and Oscar Piastri of McLaren collided at the race’s opening turn, and as a result of the damage, both cars were forced to withdraw from the competition.

Ferrari and Mercedes each earned 24 points over the course of the weekend from both the sprint and Grand Prix races. But it does indicate that the Scuderia has caught up to third-place Aston Martin in the constructors rankings, despite being ahead of them by five points.

Currently, Leclerc is fifth in the drivers’ standings, barely ahead of Carlos Sainz and George Russell. But even with Verstappen and Perez cruising to the top, all three are far behind Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

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