Leclerc recounts frustrating Canadian GP fightback

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc described his recovery from 19th to fifth in the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix as “super frustrating”.

The Ferrari driver headed into the weekend on the back foot following a power unit failure the previous weekend while leading the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

It left him staring down the barrel of a likely grid penalty, which was duly confirmed following Free Practice 3 after the team took a new control electronics unit on Friday night.

He was therefore consigned to the back of the grid come Sunday’s race, though found progress difficult to make.

“Not great,” he said of his race.

“Super frustrating race. Obviously, we were fighting with cars that had much fresher tyres, so out of Turn 10 I had no traction at all compared to them.

“It was just very difficult to make the overtakes, like with Esteban [Ocon], I think I stayed basically loads of laps behind him, so a bit frustrating.

“With the same tyre age towards the end I could be a bit more aggressive and launch into Turn 10, which is where we made the positions.

“Overall, starting from last, you cannot expect much more, especially because the Mercedes has looked quite strong.”

By finishing fifth, and therefore scoring 10 world championship points, Leclerc limited his loss to points leader Max Verstappen to just 15.

However, he now sits nearly two full races behind the Red Bull driver, 49 back after nine races.

“I had to be a bit more aggressive than what I would have liked,” Leclerc said of his drive through the field.

“Obviously I knew I had to take points today, but nothing really went our way.”

The 24-year-old’s progress was hindered by a slow stop, which resulted in him rejoining behind a train of cars he’d hoped to have cleared.

That delayed his progress, limiting the inroads he was able to make.

“So then I was in another DRS train and I had to make up for it, so it’s like this,” he said.

“But considering the different situation we found ourselves in, that was the best result possible.”

Since finishing second in Miami, it’s been something of a horror run for Leclerc, with two DNFs and just 22 points from the last four races.

Verstappen, by contrast, has won three of the last four, and finished third in Monaco, to accumulate 90 points in the same period.

Formula 1 heads next to the British Grand Prix, with Silverstone to host Round 10 of the season on July 1-3.

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