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Leclerc pleased with Imola podium as he says ‘it’s looking good’ for Ferrari in remainder of season

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IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: Third placed Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme

Charles Leclerc was happy to claim an “incredible” podium in front of the Tifosi at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, with Ferrari’s performance in the race also giving him hope for what the team can achieve as the season progresses.

After starting on the medium tyre from P3 on the grid, Leclerc seemed to pick up pace after his pit stop for the hard compound, which allowed him to chase down Lando Norris for P2 as the race headed towards its latter stages.

READ MORE: Verstappen holds off thrilling late charge from Norris to win Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

While this challenge cooled as Norris surged ahead to cut into Max Verstappen’s lead at the front, Leclerc held on to third for his debut podium finish at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari as well as Ferrari's first rostrum at the track since 2006.

2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Verstappen holds the lead ahead of Norris on the race start at Imola

Asked for his thoughts after stepping out of the car, the Monegasque commented: “At least it's a podium. I'm only very happy when I win and today we didn't quite make it.

“We were very fast at the beginning of the stint on the hard [tyre]. I started to push to try and put some pressure on Lando [Norris], but later on they were incredibly quick. All in all I think the race pace today was quite strong.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as Verstappen wins in nail-biting finish

“We lacked here yesterday in qualifying. After looking we [found that we] missed [pace] on the first straight especially, which we’ll look into.

"On the rest of the lap we were quick, so it’s looking good for the rest of the season, but it’s incredible anyway to be on the podium with all the Tifosi here in Imola.”

IMOLA, ITALY - MAY 19: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track during the

Leclerc is feeling positive about Ferrari's prospects for the rest of the season after their performance in Imola

After just a short breather, the 2024 season continues at pace next weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix, Leclerc’s home event.

On whether things are looking good for Ferrari ahead of the iconic race, Leclerc sounded positive as he answered: “Yeah, Monaco is going to be very special of course, as special as here in Imola. Obviously there is a lot of red, and it’s always amazing to see that.”

FACTS AND STATS: First Ferrari podium in Imola since Schumacher in 2006 sends the Tifosi wild

With team mate Carlos Sainz finishing the race in P5, the Scuderia now hold 212 points in second place of the constructors’ standings, while Leclerc jumps up to second in the drivers’ championship on 113 points, 6 points clear of Perez in third as Norris closes in on the Mexican in fourth.

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