Charles Leclerc admitted the Italian Grand Prix was challenging for him as he was classified in eleventh place on Sunday, his fifth consecutive race weekend without scoring a World Championship point.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team racer found himself behind the two Williams Martini Racing drivers at the chequered flag despite feeling he had good pace in his C37-Ferrari, but mid-race contact left him compromised and too far behind both Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin to do anything about jumping into the top ten.
“It was a challenging race,” said Leclerc, who finished twelfth on the road but moved up one place as a result of Romain Grosjean’s exclusion from sixth place. “We lost quite a bit of time because of the contact. After we undercut our competitors with our strategy, we did manage to get ahead, but it was too late for us to advance to a top-ten position.
“Our pace was quite good, so it is a shame not to finish in the points. Nevertheless, it was a good race, and I look forward to getting back in the car in Singapore.”
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson found his Italian Grand Prix compromised on the opening lap as he suffered a puncture after contact with Brendon Hartley, and coupled with his Friday afternoon crash, he admitted it was not the kind of weekend he was hoping to have as he trailed home in what ultimately became fifteenth.
“It was not the best weekend for me,” said Ericsson. “To be honest, it was quite a tough race. I had a good start, however, shortly after I was touched by another car which caused a puncture on my left rear tyre.
“I had to pit and from that point on it was a difficult race. I look forward to Singapore now, and am confident that we can fight back there.”
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur agreed with both of his drivers about how challenging the weekend was, but he knows scoring points is the aim across the remaining races this season so it was disappointing not to get at least one car inside the top ten on Sunday.
“It was a challenging weekend – but taking into consideration how eventful it was, all in all we had a good race,” said Vasseur. “The pace was better and we were in front of some of our main competitors.
“Marcus and Charles recovered some of the positions they lost in qualifying, and did a good job to fight their way into the midfield. Nevertheless, our aim is still to score points going forward. We have to keep on working hard and stay positive and focused for the next Grand Prix in Singapore.”