Charles Leclerc‘s Hungarian Grand Prix was less then ideal, with the Monegasque driver failing to finish inside of the points paying position whilst finishing for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix in 2017, while he was still racing for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
Starting from sixth on a damp track and on intermediate tyres, he trailed team-mate Sebastian Vettel out of turn one, behind only Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen.
Leclerc was one of the first to bite the bullet and dove into the pits for the dry tyres – specifically the red colored Pirelli soft compound. On lap five Charles was given the task of keeping Valtteri Bottas‘ slow-starting Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team machine behind him, however Leclerc’s Ferrari chewed through his tyres this meant the Finnish driver get past with ease whilst Charles dealt with graining.
Shortly after that Thai-Brit Alexander Albon also passed Leclerc who was then asked to let team-mate Vettel through a lap later. On lap twenty-one, he once again enter the pits this time for the white hard compound tyres.
As the race came to its conclusion Leclerc’s tyres were fifty laps old and loosing grip and slowly fell into the clutches of future Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr,, and after failing to make the move stick twice, Sainz eventually found his way ahead of his future team-mate to deny the Monegasque driver a point.
“It was a very complicated race,” said Leclerc. “I’m not sure what happened, because we didn’t make changes to the car, but it was extremely hard to drive, as the balance was so much worse than Friday and Saturday, when it was actually better than expected. It just didn’t feel like the same car.
“We need to look further into that to try and understand, as I was struggling a lot. We stopped for Softs a bit earlier than others and maybe it was a bit too optimistic. But it was a good call and I managed a few quick laps, but there was only one dry line so I could not overtake and, with hindsight the Soft was not the best choice.
“After that we were just slow. There’s lot of work ahead of us.”