Leclerc ‘frustrated’ as ‘expensive’ slow pitstop limits recovery to fifth in Canadian GP

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The Ferrari driver faced a fight in the field after starting 19th due to a grid penalty for an engine change, but made solid progress early on until he got stuck behind Esteban Ocon towards the middle.

While Leclerc lasted a long time in his first stint after starting on the hard tyres, meaning he lacked pace at the end of the stint behind Ocon, a slow pit stop by Ferrari mechanics held him up for three seconds. additional ones, which dropped it behind a separate DRS. four-car train driven by Lance Stroll.

This problem cost several laps for Leclerc stuck behind slower cars, and despite the benefit of a late safety car triggered by Yuki Tsunoda’s accident which led to the Monegasque catching and overtaking the two Alpines, he had to settle for fifth place.

As a result, Leclerc was annoyed at not making further progress due to DRS trains and slow pit stops delaying his charge.

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“In the very first part of the race there were no problems with traction in general. It was just that everyone had DRS so there was nothing I could do,” said Leclerc.

“Then in the middle of the stint there was a big traction problem, but that was only because Esteban had fresh tires and so at turn 10 that’s where you need tyres. He had a lot more grip than me so I had a hard time keeping up with him there and it was very frustrating.

“Then obviously we had the problem at the pit stop which made life much more difficult for us because I picked up four cars with the DRS train and had to be a bit more aggressive after that. that to come back. So yeah, considering all of that, P5 was the best.”

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Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Leclerc feels he could have easily challenged both Mercedes drivers in the race, with Lewis Hamilton finishing on the podium just ahead of team-mate George Russell in fourth.

“It would have changed quite a bit without those few things,” he said of the race’s issues. “I think the thing about the middle stint, there was nothing we could have done better there, it was just the situation we found ourselves in.

“Obviously the pit stop cost us quite a bit today.

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The Ferrari driver has slipped to 49 points behind Canadian GP winner Max Verstappen in the F1 drivers’ standings, with Sergio Perez separating the pair and three points clear of Leclerc following his retirement in Montreal, but the Monegasque remains optimistic about the fight. to the Red Bulls in future races.

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“It motivates me because of course I know the rhythm is in the car,” Leclerc said of the championship gap to Verstappen. “I’m not worried, I’m just extremely motivated to finally have a clean weekend and show that we are here and that we are strong.

“So yeah, at Silverstone, hopefully we can do that.

“We can see that obviously Red Bull also had some issues today, so yes reliability is definitely going to be a big issue.

“But that’s what we need whenever we have tougher weekends like this weekend, just to go and get some good points and that’s what we did today.”

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