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‘It’s been a positive weekend’ – Leclerc pleased with podium in Belgium but says Ferrari still have 'a lot of work to do'

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SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 30: Third placed Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates on the podium

Charles Leclerc hailed a “positive weekend” at the Belgian Grand Prix for him and Ferrari, as the Monegasque racer took the chequered flag in third place. While he is happy with the result, he believes they still have areas they need improve upon after the summer break.

Leclerc qualified second fastest on Friday, but inherited a P1 start after championship leader Max Verstappen was handed a five-place grid drop. But he lost the lead down the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap to the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

READ MORE: Verstappen charges to Belgian GP win as Red Bull bag 1-2 finish

He then held up Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen for a few laps before the Dutch driver came racing past. It was then a straight battle between Leclerc and Hamilton for the final spot on the podium, with the Monegasque eventually winning the contest.

Reflecting on his third podium of the season, Leclerc said: “It feels good to be back on the podium, especially for the last race for the first part before the summer break. It’s been a positive weekend overall in terms of pace, from FP1 to the race.

“And it was really important for me to finish on a high note, and we did. It’s good. It wasn’t an easy race. The rain was there in the second stint, which didn’t make things easy. But all in all, we had the perfect management of the race.”

2023 Belgian Grand Prix: Perez powers into the lead as Piastri hits trouble on the race start at Spa

Leclerc was also asked about the mood inside the Ferrari camp following his podium, after what has been a mixed start to the year. He replied: “We are not happy about the first part of the season. I believe this last race puts a bit more of a smile on our face.

“But also unfortunately, with Carlos [Sainz] not finishing, not the whole team will be happy, which is completely normal. But looking at the pace, I think it’s been a positive weekend.

READ MORE: ‘A lack of experience’ – Sainz and Piastri at odds over first corner crash at Spa that forced both into retirement

"We’ve been strong. Carlos has been strong in all conditions. I’ve been strong in all conditions. The car, we were quite at ease with the car.

"Still a lot of work to do. We know where we need to improve the car, and this is where we will try to do a step forward for the next part of the season.”

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