“We should be satisfied with that” — Leclerc happy with P3 at F1 Miami GP

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Unable able to participate in the only free practice of the Miami Grand Prix due to a spin on his second push lap in the session, Charles Leclerc bounced back in style across the rest of the weekend.

The Monegasque qualified on the front row in both the Sprint Shootout and Grand Prix qualifying, and he secured P2 in the Sprint. He crossed the line third as the chequered flag was waved for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Leclerc had a slower start compared to the two Red Bulls and teammate Carlos Sainz, seeing him drop to P4 momentarily. Perez then had a big lock up which nearly caused him to crash with both Sainz and Verstappen.

This allowed Leclerc to regain back P2 by turn one. Oscar Piastri then overtook Leclerc on lap 4 on the hairpin of turn 17 as McLaren showed very strong pace.

“Well, it was very tricky. Obviously, Checo [Perez] was on my inside. I didn’t have a great start. As soon as I left the clutch, I had wheel spin.

“I saw Checo [Perez] on the right, but there was very little grip, so he locked up. And I thought we would crash, but fortunately for everybody, we all got out that first corner without any damage.”

On lap 20, Leclerc pitted to new hard compound tyres coming out of the pits at P6 behind the Mercedes of Hamilton.

By lap 28, the Monegasque was P3 behind Verstappen and Norris who was the race leader. Piastri and Sainz had pitted 7 laps after him as they extended their first stints, coming out quite close behind him.

A collision between the Haas of Magnussen and the Williams of Sargeant meant the Safety Car was deployed till Lap 32. It benefitted Norris who was able to pit and maintain the race lead.

On the restart, Leclerc managed his tyres extremely well, keeping his final podium position and finishing only two seconds behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

“Obviously, we have been unlucky with the Safety Car. The timing of the Safety Car wasn’t great for us.

“Then we ended up having the oldest tyres of all the guys at the front. But we managed everything quite well.

“So P3 was the best we could do, and we should be satisfied with that.”

The 26-year-old has now overtaken Niki Lauda on the list of podium finishes for Ferrari, with 33 rostrum appearances to his name. He also extended his streak of the only driver this season that did not finish outside P4 in any races.

Leclerc is third in the Drivers’ Championship with 98 points to his name, and he is only 5 points behind Sergio Perez after outscoring him in the Sprint and Grand Prix.