Charles Leclerc expressed his pride in the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team‘s 2018 season after taking seventh place for the third race in succession.
Leclerc’s performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix proved to be a fitting farewell for the 21-year-old, as he prepares to join his parent team Scuderia Ferrari in a deal that sees Kimi Räikkönen move the other way.
Starting in eighth, the Monégasque driver ran as high as third at the Yas Marina Circuit, even passing Daniel Ricciardo into Turn 11 on the opening lap, before a poorly timed early pitstop relegated him to the depths of the order. Leclerc managed to salvage a good result, but felt that more was achievable.
“I think that there was more in the race for us today,” bemoaned Leclerc. “But we rounded off the season with a decent P7 and some more points.
“I would like to thank Sauber for this incredible year and everything they have taught me.”
Courtesy of Leclerc, a resurgent Marcus Ericsson and an improved technical partnership with Ferrari, Sauber recovered from a dismal 2017 campaign that saw them finish bottom of the standings, to take eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship with 48 points – their best total since 2013.
“It has been great to work together and to see all of the effort reflected in the progress we have made,” Leclerc added.
“We can all be proud to have been part of it, and I wish them all the best for the future.”