Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc said that he was happy with a quieter French Grand Prix weekend after a testing last few Formula 1 race weekends.
Leclerc held his starting position of third to take a second podium in as many races and make a three point inroad on Max Verstappen‘s fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Ferrari driver had a half chance to take second from Mercedes AMG Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas on the last lap as the Finn cruised home behind his team-mate, race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Leclerc ceded that the opportunity to pass Bottas never really presented itself, but was still satisfied with his and Ferrari’s work at Circuit Paul Ricard.
“Overall, this weekend was pretty positive,” said Leclerc. “I’m pleased I was able to fight for second place right at the end, even if I never had a real chance to attack Valtteri.
“I am satisfied because we managed to maximise the potential of the car.”
Leclerc expressed his relief in a smoother weekend, following on from a disappointing home race in Monaco and an average Canadian Grand Prix.
“It was about time, because after a few so-so weekends, everything went smoothly right from the start of practice and then in qualifying and the race,” he added.
“Our strategy was perfect both in terms of the timing of the pit stop and our tyre management in the second part of the race.”
Buoyed by a more consistent performance, Leclerc said that he is aiming to carry the momentum built up in France to Austria next week.
“I believe hard work always pays off and I feel we proved that this weekend. Now we go straight to Austria where I hope we can maintain this same good form.”