Charles Leclerc was fine finishing behind Red Bull in F1 Belgian GP amid fuel saving, as Frederic Vasseur adds on his driving.

It was a bit of a strong outing for Ferrari and Leclerc in F1 Belgian GP even though he lost out to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez on Lap 1 from pole and also to Max Verstappen later on. He kept Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton behind on pace and via strategy.

Ferrari had enough legs despite the weekend where the conditions were mixed. It was the best they could have achieved as Leclerc hoped even before the race on Sunday. The team mirrored on strategy side as well which helped them to finish ahead of Mercedes.

“This was the best we could achieve, no doubt,” said Leclerc. “So yeah, you always hope to try to win the race, but on the other hand, realistically, we knew that both of the Red Bulls would be much quicker, and… yeah… but our target was to maximise the points with the package we had and honestly, I don’t think we could have done anything better.

“The strategy was good. It was good. Basically, we had to react to what Lewis was doing behind, which then the Red Bull had to react to us a lap later. So that’s why we were all on the same strategy, because everybody was reacting to somebody else’s strategy. So, yeah, our strategy was based on Lewis and trying to keep him behind during the whole race.

“He had a good pace but I felt we had him under control,” summed up Leclerc, who noted that he was on pace with Perez in the last stint but fuel saving meant he had to control his pace. “I was losing a bit too much,” he said. “But on the other hand, when Checo started to push again for a few laps at the end, I could not match that.

“So I think they also had a bit of margin. But yeah, at one point I was seeing that I was doing the same lap times as Checo, I didn’t know how much he was saving but I knew how much I was saving, so I thought, ‘OK, maybe we can get second place – but then very quickly I understood that he was just saving,” summed up Leclerc.

The result for Leclerc came at the right time especially in conditions where he said he worked upon in the last few weeks to improve his driving style and in result his performance. This was concurred by team boss Vasseur, who said he worked on to improve his consistency in such conditions after bad run in few races.

“He had two difficult races in a row, you’re right,” said Vasseur. “He had Barcelona, the quali, and then Spielberg or Canada, in mixed condition, but he wanted to do some laps with slicks in Silverstone on the wet also to have a good feeling without pressure, without lap time, and I think he did it and he did it perfectly.

“I was not worried at all because I’ve known him for ages. And he was always performant in these kind of conditions. But I think he had a poor session in Barcelona, that didn’t go pretty well. But I think the conditions were more than tricky. And he was a bit surprised with this. But it’s behind us, he showed that in this tricky condition he was able to be consistently in the front of the pack and he did a good job.”

Here’s Carlos Sainz, Oscar Piastri on Lap 1 incident