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‘There wasn’t much more in the car’ – Leclerc calls on Ferrari to improve ‘a lot’ after distant P7 finish in Jeddah

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Charles Leclerc was left to rue another challenging Grand Prix weekend for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia, stating that the team have plenty of work to do if they are to get themselves in the front-running mix this season.

Leclerc qualified second fastest at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit but dropped to 12th on the grid with an engine penalty, setting up an action-packed start to his race as he recovered to seventh position.

READ MORE: Perez fends off Verstappen to win action-packed Saudi Arabian GP as Alonso loses podium following time penalty

However, that would be his limit as he crossed the line just behind team mate Carlos Sainz – the two Ferraris more than half a minute away from the race-winning Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Leclerc said: “Once I got within a second and a half to Carlos, it was very difficult to get closer than that. The pace difference wasn’t big enough. I did a small mistake when I was within DRS, and then when I lost it, that was it.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 19: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-23 on track

Leclerc did his best to make up lost ground but had to settle for P7 at the chequered flag

“I just stayed there. It’s like this. Honestly, I don’t think there was much more anyway in the car today. We just need to work to find some pace.”

Asked how much work is needed at Ferrari, Leclerc said, “A lot, really a lot.” As for what areas they need to improve in, he referred to pace-setters Red Bull, adding: “Straight line they are quicker, and corners they are quicker, so a bit of everything.”

READ MORE: Alonso loses P3 and 100th F1 podium after receiving 10s penalty in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

The result means Leclerc sits eighth in the drivers’ standings after the first two races of the season with just six points to his name – having retired from the Bahrain opener due to a power unit issue.

Meanwhile, Ferrari sit fourth in the constructors’ battle, 61 points away from leaders Red Bull, with Aston Martin and Mercedes also slotting ahead of them.

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