Formula 1

“I’m disappointed to lose the victory” – Charles Leclerc

2 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc came agonisingly close to making it back-to-back wins to start the 2022 season, however was beaten late on by Max Verstappen at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, rounded off the podium at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

It was a mighty-fine effort by Leclerc to almost claim his second win of the season, the Monegasque driver had been in second early on behind Sergio Pérez, before overtaking the Mexican after pitting under a Safety Car. Leclerc then controlled the lead for a large chunk of the race, before Verstappen found himself within DRS range late on, leading to an epic battle.

The pair overtook each-other several times, with both of them almost grinding to a halt at the final corner in order to get DRS on one-another. In the end though the Dutchman got the better of Leclerc, who does at least still sit nicely at the top of the World Championship.

Leclerc was disappointed not to win but thoroughly enjoyed the battle with the World Champion.

“Although I’m disappointed to lose the victory so late in the race, it feels good to be fighting for wins again. Whenever I had a bit of margin to Max (Verstappen), I could manage the race well. But after the Virtual Safety Car, as soon as he got in the DRS range, it became difficult. He was fast in the straights and I was fast in the corners. You have to play on your strengths as much as possible when it’s this tight.

“I regained my position twice but the third time it did not work out. I could have possibly had another opportunity if it weren’t for the yellow flag at the end of the race, but that’s part of the game. It was a really fun battle! I hope it stays this close for the coming races. It’s exciting to watch and to drive like this. Development will be key and we have to push hard.”

“The race was quite straightforward” – Carlos Sainz Jr

Carlos Sainz Jr had a pretty straightforward race, the Spaniard who started third dropped to fourth early on, after being passed by Verstappen due to his team-mate boxing him in unintentionally.

Sainz was one of a number of drivers who pitted under the Safety Car, which brought the Spaniard up into third place. Pérez was forced to hand Sainz third place back however, after passing the Ferrari driver whilst the Safety Car was out.

In the end a relatively calm evening for Sainz, who felt more comfortable this weekend than he did last weekend in Bahrain.

“I had a very good launch at the start but I ran out of space on the right and Max got better traction on the inside line. From then on, the race was quite straightforward, even though I would have expected to have been given back the position ahead of Checo (Perez), as I came out of pit lane ahead of him, while the Safety Car was still out. Having to wait for the restart to get back to third meant I could not try and fight for second place. 

“P3 is a good result and overall, this has been a fairly positive weekend, definitely better than one week ago in Bahrain. I feel we are going in the right direction with this car and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before we are fighting a bit further up the order. We have a clearer picture of where and what we need to improve and we have a direction to follow. I can’t wait to go to Australia after two years without racing there.”

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
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