Charles Leclerc felt quite positive with how Ferrari performed in F1 Bahrain GP, but stresses the team needs to keep its feet on the ground still.

Ferrari’s Leclerc had a strong start to F1 Bahrain GP, when he passed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to be third. He hung for few laps before the Finn passed him, as he was also overtaken by McLaren’s Lando Norris in the first half of the grand prix.

He maintained his track position until the final few laps, when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez came through and dropped him to sixth. As a team Ferrari scored 12 points in a positive start to the 2021 F1 campaign, after Carlos Sainz ended up eighth.

Leclerc noted that he could stay with the McLaren early on in the race and tried to gamble with his strategy, which cost him time later in the grand prix. However, he was pleased with the eventual result, although, he stressed the team needs to keep working.

“There has been lot of progress compared to last year, other than that, myself here, I haven’t been driving the best,” said Leclerc to TV media. “In the past, I have always been struggling to manage the tyres and race, which is one of my weak points in Bahrain.

“We did a step forward. It is not yet where we want to be as I always say. But it is a significant step forward and this is good point. We had to pit a bit early which cost us some places as we tried to do little bit with the strategy.

“We lost pace by the end of the race as a result but it was the right thing to do, overall I am happy with the tyre management and the race. We were quite close in terms of pace to McLaren apart from the last run and I even ran third early on.

“Overall, I am more optimistic with Ferrari than last year, but work is still to be done. We need to keep the feet down still,” summed up Leclerc, whose performance was praised by team boss Mattia Binotto as well, who termed the first race as first challenge completed.

Here’s Carlos Sainz in cautious approach in Bahrain