Leclerc: Istanbul was the pits

12 October 2021 20:21:52 GMTPlus11
Charles Leclerc led in Turkey with 12 laps to go

Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc took a thinly veiled swipe at team bosses for missing out on a podium finish in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

Leclerc was leading the race in Istanbul before a late flurry of pit stops dramatically changed the order and saw him trail home in fourth. He is 33/1 to get it right next time in the United States GP in Austin on October 24.

Text book Turkish drive

The Monaco driver admitted he was delighted with the performance of the Ferrari but ultimately left hugely disappointed to miss out on what would have been just a second podium in 2021.

Leclerc has been a model of consistency all season with 12 top-eight finishes in 16 races. His best performance to date was a second place at Silverstone but he looked to be on course to at least match that in Istanbul thanks to a near-perfect drive.

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Starting from third on the grid, Leclerc managed to fight his way to the front by lap 38 and was still first with just 12 laps remaining.

Late stops the pits

Race rivals Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez then pitted and on fresh tyres soon caught Leclerc who was finally forced into a change of tyre just to stop falling further back down the field. Bottas went on to take the chequered flag.

"We were a little out of step with the others on my stop that happened late in the race," he told reporters.

"But overall, it was a positive race. We were very competitive, especially in the first stint and the car felt good. It's a shame that we lost out on a podium finish, but the performance was there which is a positive."

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