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‘I don’t even know what to say anymore’ – Leclerc ‘not feeling good’ after Sunday to forget at Silverstone

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on from the drivers

Charles Leclerc cut a downbeat figure after his day again ended in frustration at the British Grand Prix, with a botched strategy meaning that the Monegasque failed to score points for a second race weekend in a row after ending the race down in P14.

Leclerc – who had lined up in P11 following a tough qualifying – had made gains early on in the event but lost out after switching to the intermediate tyres too soon.

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Having been unable to make up the time lost, the 26-year-old ended the day in 14th place. Reflecting on how he felt about that tyre call, Leclerc commented after the Grand Prix: “I mean I was quite confident that this was the right choice with the information I got in the car.

“I heard that the rain was intensifying a lot and it would be very heavy the lap after. The thing is that the heavy rain came eight laps later, and so the track was… It stopped raining actually the lap where we stopped, and for eight laps there was basically no water so we destroyed the tyres, had to stop again. Again a difficult Sunday, a Sunday to forget.”

After the high of his home win in Monaco, Leclerc has faced a challenging run of weekends consisting of a DNF, a P5 and two non-points finishes in P11 and P14. Quizzed on how he was coping with this situation, the Ferrari driver responded: “I’m not feeling good. It’s too much now, it’s been too many races.

Leclerc laments ‘a Sunday to forget’ after tough race to P14 at Silverstone

“I don’t even know what to say anymore when I’m coming here [to the TV pen]. We’ve just got to reset as a team, but… yeah. There’s always one different reason that it doesn’t click, and that makes it even more difficult to analyse and jump forwards, so we will try put everything together in Budapest.

“Definitely we need to speak with the team on the decision process and understanding what we can do better in order for me to have the better… more information in critical moments like this, or better information, and then we will hopefully make better decisions in the future.”

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On the other side of the Ferrari garage, Carlos Sainz was left feeling proud following a solid drive to fifth. While his race started quietly from P7 on the grid, the Spaniard later found himself closer to the action as track conditions started to change, having started to catch the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in the hunt for P5.

After both cars pitted for intermediate tyres, Verstappen managed to get ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell to take third while Sainz was not able to match the pace of the top four.

The 29-year-old ultimately crossed the line in fifth, and also earned an additional point for setting the fastest lap following a late pit stop. When asked for his thoughts later on, Sainz voiced his pride at securing a result that was perhaps stronger than the car had looked capable of.

Sainz ‘proud of one of my most solid races of the last few years’

“I was actually having a bit of fun because I had a very lonely race at the beginning,” Sainz explained. “As expected, the top three cars were much quicker than us today and they pulled away, but then as soon as it became slicks on damp conditions, that’s when I started to make a bit of a catch-up and taking a bit more risk than them.

“I could catch up to them, and I thought maybe we were back in the race, and [I thought] then maybe [if it] stays like this in these conditions for the rest of the race we might have a chance here.

“But then in full wet or in full dry we were just not quick enough, but I’m very happy, very proud of the team for all the right calls that we did together at this race. If we would have been quicker, I think we would have had a good chance to fight for this podium or this win, but unfortunately we are not there.”

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With Ferrari having seemingly slipped behind their rivals at the front during recent race weekends, Sainz was pleased with how he and the team managed to optimise the situation at Silverstone, with the Spanish driver heralding the race as one of his “most solid” since joining the Scuderia back in 2021.

“This is Formula 1 – you need to be there when the car is good and when the car is bad, and today we maximised even with a bonus point there for fastest lap,” Sainz added. “A P5 but it was nearly a P4, then it looked like a P3 for a bit, and then…

“Yeah, that’s why I’m happy, I’m proud, because I know that today it was not easy out there. We had to get all the calls right and get all the conditions and have our moments here and there, but we got everything perfect. Unfortunately we were only P5, but one of the most solid races of my last few years in Ferrari, for sure.”

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