Leclerc: “Definitely a step forward we need to do” after tough Hungarian Grand Prix for Ferrari

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Scuderia Ferrari suffered through yet another poor Sunday, during the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, which saw Max Verstappen claim yet another victory, his seventh in a row.

Red Bull clinched their 12th consecutive win on the bounce, beating that of McLaren’s infamous 1988

record of 11, with Verstappen himself now recording his seventh win in a row. This result puts the Dutchman and RB one step closer to driver and constructors champions once again, while every other team is left playing catch up. Including of course, Ferrari, who just can’t seem to get it together.

At lights out on Sunday, Charles Leclerc started from sixth on the grid, starting on a used set of medium compound tyres. Teammate Carlos Sainz started from 11th place, with a new set of soft tires bolted onto the number 55 car.

A lightning quick start for Sainz, who managed to get all the way up to P6, before pitting on lap 12 for a set of hard tires, to help further manage the rough tyre degradation. Leclerc pitted two laps later, with a hurtful stop time of 9.4s, to rejoin the race in P11 and critically behind his teammate.

By race end, Leclerc took seventh place, with Sainz right behind him, in eighth. Ferrari gave Leclerc preference at the final round of stops due to his slow stop first time around.

Speaking to the media after the race, Leclerc shared his thoughts on a frustrating afternoon and the penalty picked up for speeding in the pits:

“It’s a shame, the first set honestly I felt quite good on it, we had quite good pace, then we had a slow stop that put us quite a lot on the backfoot. Then I was with Carlos, and then we maybe lost a little bit of time, then on the last set I had to push a bit more again, and it was better.

“There was also a five second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, so all in all, not a great day again.

When asked if the team back in Maranello may push to catch up with McLaren again, the Monegasque answered:

“Yes for sure even though today honestly, on pure race pace, we weren’t that bad it’s just that with the slow pitstop, plus the five second penalty, it put us in a very difficult situation on the second stint, and we lost too much to the guys in front.

“I think at least Oscar was reachable, Lando was maybe a bit more difficult as they’ve got a bit more pace. Yeah, there’s definitely a step forward we need to do because now Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren are ahead,” concluded the Monegasque star.

A tough afternoon for the Scuderia, who are still in a catch up race to Mercedes, Red Bull and a now a revitalised McLaren. Ferrari currently sit fourth in the constructors standings, with a points haul of 167 so far, behind Aston Martin, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari