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‘It was impossible to drive properly’ – Leclerc left disappointed in Bahrain after brake issues

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track

Charles Leclerc couldn’t hide his disappointment after front brake locking issues left him struggling in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Monegasque ultimately finishing behind his team mate in P4.

Having started from the front row alongside pole-sitter Max Verstappen, Leclerc looked at making a first-lap move into Turn 1 before having to back out. From there the Ferrari driver slipped backwards when his SF-24 started to be affected by a problem with the front brakes.

READ MORE: Verstappen storms to victory in action-packed season-opening Bahrain GP

While he ultimately managed to cross the line in P4 – following a late-race overtake on the Mercedes of George Russell – Leclerc spoke afterwards about just how challenging the Grand Prix had been with his car issues.

“It was impossible to drive properly,” the 26-year-old commented. “We had big problems with the brakes, which we will investigate what happened in order for it to not happen again. This obviously was a big issue. In the first 10 laps it was impossible.

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Leclerc reveals brake issue made his Ferrari ‘impossible to drive’

“Every lap I was doing I would brake three or four metres earlier, but the issue was getting much, much worse every lap, so every time I was basing my feeling on the previous lap, but in the meantime the issue was a lot more so I would get there and I would lock up like crazy again, so it felt really bad and then it stabilised but in a place that was completely out of the proper window.

“I think on the radio the team told me that it was more than a 100 degrees more split between front right and front left, and that stayed for the whole race, so we were in a very, very bad place, and it’s like this.”

READ MORE: Sainz ‘pleasantly surprised’ by ability to keep up with Red Bull as he clinches podium in Bahrain

There were seemingly positives for Ferrari during the first race event of the year. Carlos Sainz claimed the final podium position behind the two Red Bulls, while both drivers had praised the improvements with their car compared to last year’s challenger after Thursday’s practice sessions.

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2024 Bahrain Grand Prix: Russell and Leclerc's dramatic battle Bahrain

However, when asked what he would take from the weekend as a whole given the apparent step forward made by the team, Leclerc admitted that he was struggling to look on the bright side after his race outcome.

“We have made a step forward but.. I don’t know, I struggle to see the positives at the end of the weekend when it’s time to put everything together then we have an issue, so I’m very disappointed with today,” he stated.

FACTS AND STATS: Red Bull tie Williams’ win tally in first-ever retirement-free season opener

Leclerc will be hoping for a better result at the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which takes place in less than one week’s time at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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