Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc has called the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit “a positive weekend”, despite losing out on the victory to his more experienced team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
The two drivers were closely matched in qualifying on Saturday, with Leclerc securing his third consecutive pole position, with Vettel in third behind Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc maintained his advantage at the start and controlled the pace at the front of the field, running a slower pace to conserve life in his soft tyres, but an earlier pit stop for his team-mate propelled Vettel into the lead.
Leclerc questioned the decision to allow Vettel to pit first when he was the race leader, with the Monegasque racer making his opinion well known over the radio. He was forced to shadow his team-mate until the chequered flag, with a trio of Safety Car periods getting him close, but not close enough to make a genuine attempt to reclaim the lead.
After calming down from the disappointment of losing what would have been his third consecutive win, Leclerc says that he sees the bigger picture and knows that for the team as a whole it was a successful weekend, made even more notable as they came into the weekend not expecting favourable results. Ferrari left Singapore having become the first team to complete a one-two finish at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with neither Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver making it onto the podium.
“As a team, it was a positive weekend for us. Arriving in Singapore, we did not have high expectations, so bringing home a one-two finish is a pleasant surprise and also a sign that all of the hard work done by the team has paid off,” said the 21-year-old.
“That said, of course I am a bit disappointed to finish in second place. But I am certain that our race was aimed at maximising our result as a team, which we did, and that is good.”
With only six races remaining in the season, Leclerc is confident the Italian outfit will make the best of the opportunities available. He now sits third in the Drivers’ Championship with two-hundred points, the same as Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen, and only thirty-one behind Valtteri Bottas.
“We know that we have a lot of potential and will keep working in this direction to do the best job possible at the remaining six races. Now I look forward to the next one in Russia.”