Charles Leclerc started on pole in Miami but couldn’t keep Max Verstappen in the first stint. At a press conference after the finish, the Ferrari driver said that the fight for leadership was lost due to the high degradation of the Medium tires, and the team must find a solution to this problem before the next stage.
Q: Charles, how fast was your car in the race?
Charles Leclerc: The car was fast, especially on Hard tires. As for the composition of the Medium, after five or six laps, problems began with the front tires. In fact, I lost the race on this stretch due to the degradation of the rubber – I not only lost the lead, but also lost time. We need to understand the causes and eliminate them before the next race.
Otherwise I was very competitive on the Hard tires, at least relative to the Max. After leaving the safety car track, I really believed that I had a chance to regain the lead, but the efforts made were not enough.
As I said, we need to analyze the laps on Medium, as this segment turned out to be the weak point of our race.
Q: In addition to tire wear, what else was the difference between your car and the Red Bull car?
Charles Leclerc: In colour! Seriously, we had different speeds on the straights. I think this is due to the characteristics of our machines. Red Bull are quite fast on the straights, while we have an advantage in medium speed and fast corners. However, it came as a surprise to me that in the race we had problems in slow corners compared to Red Bull. Perhaps this is due to the tires Medium. As I said, this issue needs to be dealt with.
Question: Your advantage over Max Verstappen in the individual competition has been reduced to 19 points. Should Ferrari do something about this?
Charles Leclerc: We definitely need to do something in the race with soft compositions – Medium and Soft. In the previous two rounds, Red Bull managed to better control the wear of the softer tires over the course of the race.
In qualifying, we always manage to bring these compositions into the working range, which helps, but on a long series of circles we have more problems with rubber than Red Bull.
Question: Did you have the opportunity to defend harder in the episode when Max overtook you?
Charles Leclerc: When you are fighting for leadership, you always think about whether it was possible to act differently. Considering how low the grip was in that off-line turn on Friday and Saturday, I didn’t expect Max to hold on there. In reality, it turned out that the grip is much higher in the race.
After the finish, there are always thoughts that I could have done better, but at that moment I thought it was right to stay on the racing line and try to slow down better. That’s exactly what I did, but it was not enough to keep the lead.
Question: In the individual competition, do you like to be in the role of a catch-up or in the role of someone who is being caught up?
Charles Leclerc: From the very beginning of the season, I am in the role of someone who is being caught up. To be honest, I’m quite happy with this state of affairs, because it means that we are doing everything right.
However, it is also true that in the last two races the advantage is gradually reduced. To be honest, I don’t really think about my position and every time I try to be as competitive as possible. Apparently, at the moment, Red Bull has the advantage in the race.
Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.
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