Leclerc “felt confident” in the car following French points finish

Creidt: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Charles Leclerc said he felt “confident” in the performance of his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car after a career best qualifying of eighth into a solitary point at the French Grand Prix.

Leclerc had run as high as sixth in the opening stages of the race, even passing Kimi Räikkönen and challenging Daniel Ricciardo in amongst the chaos of the first few corners.

However, the Monégasque star could not keep the quicker cars behind him and fell to tenth by the end of the race – a late Virtual Safety Car prevented him from attacking Renault Sport Formula 1 Team duo Nico Hülkenberg and the ailing Carlos Sainz Jr. for further points.

Reflecting on another promising weekend for Sauber as they moved further away from Williams Martini Racing at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, the Scuderia Ferrari junior said he was “satisfied” with the weekend’s work.

“Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome of this weekend,” said Leclerc, tipped to take Räikkönen’s seat for 2019. “I had a great qualifying result yesterday, and felt confident in the car.

“Having scored another point for the team during the race today feels great. It was fun to drive, and I had some good fights with the drivers around me.”

Leclerc drew level with Esteban Ocon on 11 points in the Drivers’ Championship as the Sahara Force India F1 Team driver failed to score after a first lap collision with his compatriot, Pierre Gasly.

France also marked the fourth time in the last five races that the 20-year-old has registered points and is optimistic for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

“We are moving in a positive direction, and improving our performance week by week,” he added.

“I really look forward to seeing what is possible next weekend.”