Leclerc: "Odd" Ferrari struggled with hard tires at F1 Chinese GP

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Leclerc: "Odd" Ferrari struggled with hard tires at F1 Chinese GP


After losing a place to George Russell at the start while battling Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz, Leclerc quickly progressed using a one-stop strategy to move up to fourth place.

But, while predicted to be the team closest to Red Bull in terms of race pace, both Ferraris were unable to make further gains, as Leclerc finished on the podium – 4.5 seconds behind Sergio Perez in third and almost 10 seconds behind McLaren’s Lando Norris in second. .

Leclerc failed to understand Ferrari’s drop in pace on the hard, having changed his mediums to this compound after 21 laps, which left him unable to challenge the podium finishers.

“I don’t think we found it [the pace] as a team, especially on hard tires, which is a bit strange because the strength of this car since the beginning of the year is that it is very strong in all conditions with all tires,” said Leclerc.

“Today it was a bit unusual because as soon as we put the hard ones on, we were half a second behind. So it’s very strange.

“We will look into it and try to understand what went wrong in this race.”

Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

After his pit stop, and once the two safety car periods were completed, Leclerc said he was aiming to fight Norris and therefore a potential second place, but that he simply could not keep up with the pace of the McLaren or the Red Bull with the hard tires.

“It’s very strange, especially compared to the McLaren. With Lando at the start, I really thought we were going to fight with him,” he added.

“I was doing good tire management until the safety car which kind of reset all the strategies, which is a bit of a shame because I think we were doing a good job and then on the hard we were just slow .

“We expected this weekend to be very similar or in line with what we’ve seen since the start of the season, but we had a lot more difficulty.”

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