Charles Leclerc was encouraged by the progress made by Ferrari in F1 Portuguese GP as Ross Brawn clubs him with Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
With potentially last of its upgrades brought in at F1 Portuguese GP, Ferrari likely took another positive step, especially looking at the performance of Leclerc, who not only managed to qualify in Q3 on the medium tyres but also finished fourth eventually.
It was a lonely end to his race but Leclerc never looked in trouble apart from the start when he along with other medium runners suffered to generate enough temperature in their tyres. Post that period, Leclerc regained pace to secure a Top 4 finish.
It was certainly encouraging on his side of the garage. “We had a strong race and we are seeing some progress, which is very encouraging for the whole team and for me personally,” said Leclerc. “We worked very hard on our race pace and finally we have had a weekend with both a decent qualifying and a good race, so I am very pleased.
“The first stint was tricky. In the first few laps I had to keep focused as I was losing quite a lot of positions because we started on the Mediums. Lap after lap we got back to where we wanted to be and it was amazing. It’s good to see the progress the team is making race after race. If I look at my personal performance so far it has been a good season.
“I still have work to do, there are definitely a lot of things I still need to improve and I hope that looking back at this year I will remember it as a positive one,” summed up Leclerc, who was clubbed with Hamilton and Schumacher by F1 chief, Brawn.
It is not the first time for Brawn to praise the Monegasque but his current performances of dragging his Ferrari to such results, he is only vindicating the opinion. In fact, over the weekend, Leclerc also received praises from teammate Sebastian Vettel.
“It was another very strong performance from Charles Leclerc and he continues to give Ferrari motivation for next year after what has been a very challenging campaign so far,” wrote Brawn in his post-race column. “The team will know that when they are able to give him a more competitive car, he will deliver the results.
“A driver can go two ways when faced with a difficult car. It can demotivate them, their performances start to drop away and it helps no one. It’s a double whammy. Or a driver can do what Charles has done and dig even deeper and find extra performance that helps subsidise the team when things aren’t so great.
“Through that process, when he does get car underneath him, he will be a stronger driver. I often felt with Michael, there were races he won which he should not have won because the car wasn’t good enough but he managed to find a way to win. And that is what makes a world champion. Lewis has demonstrated that. He’s got a great car now, but I recall him winning races when the car was not a top performer.
“And Charles is doing similar at Ferrari right now,” summed up Brawn, who also praised Hamilton for crossing the record of Schumacher. He noted about Kimi Raikkonen’s epic opening few laps as well, while congratulating the Portuguese GP organisers.
Here’s how F1 Portuguese GP race panned out