Formula 1

Ferrari’s Leclerc Clinches Podium in Physical Saudi Arabian GP, Highlights SF-24’s Progress

In the recent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc secured a commendable third place, emphasizing the improved performance of the team’s SF-24 car. Despite finding the race somewhat monotonous due to Red Bull’s lead, Leclerc took pride in Ferrari’s step up and the physical challenge of the Jeddah track.

Key Takeaways:

  • Charles Leclerc achieved a podium finish in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, trailing behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, and also earned a bonus point for the fastest lap, showcasing Ferrari’s competitive edge.
  • Ferrari’s enhanced performance was further highlighted by Carlos Sainz’s recent success in Bahrain and debutant Oliver Bearman’s impressive seventh-place finish in Jeddah.
  • While appreciating the physical demands of the Jeddah circuit, Leclerc noted a more enjoyable experience this year despite the race being somewhat uneventful due to the dominance of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver, once again demonstrated the Italian team’s resilience and potential to be the main challenger to Red Bull’s supremacy in Formula 1. Starting from the second position on the grid, Leclerc managed to maintain a strong performance throughout the race, eventually finishing third behind the dominant Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Oliver Bearman, a newcomer to Ferrari, replacing Carlos Sainz who was out due to appendix surgery, made an impressive Formula 1 debut. Finishing in seventh place, Bearman showed remarkable skill and determination, holding off experienced competitors like Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc, in his post-race interview with David Coulthard, expressed mixed feelings about the race. While acknowledging the team’s progress, he pointed out the somewhat dull nature of the race, attributed to Red Bull’s clear speed advantage. His quote highlights this sentiment:

“We had quite good pace because we had the fastest lap at the end and I got helped by DRS. Overall, the feeling was pretty good. It was a bit of a boring race because Red Bull were a bit too quick and behind we had a gap. But we took the maximum points we could today and that was the target, so that’s great.”

Despite these challenges, Leclerc found joy in the demanding nature of the Jeddah circuit, particularly its high-speed corners, which he found more enjoyable compared to last year. He added insight into the physical demands of the track:

“From last year it’s a step better. I don’t know why. Maybe because I was on my own, so had less adrenaline in the car. All in all, it’s definitely one of the most physical race tracks of the season. It’s warm but most of all for the neck, there are so many high speed corners which are very difficult but it’s also fun to drive.”

Leclerc’s performance and remarks reflect not only his personal growth as a driver but also signal Ferrari’s ongoing efforts to close the gap with the leading team, offering an intriguing setup for the upcoming races in the season.

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