Leclerc calls on Ferrari to ‘understand what went wrong’ after painful Bahrain GP retirement
Charles Leclerc cut a deflated figure in the immediate aftermath of the Bahrain Grand Prix as his 2023 season began with retirement and a non-score due to technical problems at Ferrari.
Leclerc’s race got off to a positive start when he jumped from third to second – between Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez – by making good use of the fresh soft tyres he saved in qualifying.
READ MORE: Verstappen leads 1-2 in Bahrain season opener as Leclerc retires and Alonso takes final podium place in style
However, having settled into third as the front-running strategies played out, Leclerc’s car ground to a halt, with the Monegasque sighing over the radio: “No, no, no! No power!”
It means Leclerc – who also took on new Energy Store and Control Electronics power unit elements pre-race – leaves the opening round empty-handed, while Red Bull took maximum points with an emphatic one-two result.
Reflecting on his race, and what was possible before retiring, Leclerc said: “We definitely had the car to fight for the podium. I mean, honestly, the podium was there.
“We had a good gap behind, I was managing the pace, everything felt good, so it is a shame. Now I just hope we can look into it, understand what went wrong and don’t have this problem anymore…”
Asked if there were any positives to take from the weekend, Leclerc pointed to his and Ferrari’s decision not to complete a second run in qualifying – and bank an extra set of soft tyres – before offering a frank assessment.
WATCH: Relive the race start in Bahrain as Verstappen charges into the sunset and the Aston Martins clash
“I mean, the first stint, the choice that we have made was the right one in qualifying yesterday. Apart from that, not much,” he summed up.
In Leclerc’s absence, team mate Carlos Sainz salvaged fourth for Ferrari, having been overhauled by Aston Martin rival Fernando Alonso for the final podium spot late on.
It means Ferrari sit fourth in the constructors’ standings on 12 points, behind Mercedes (16), Aston Martin (23) and leaders Red Bull (43) heading to the second round of the campaign in Saudi Arabia.