Leclerc: The developments will be important, we must continue to push

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Charles Leclerc had to settle for second place at the 2022 Miami Grand Prix but stressed that Ferrari should start updating its F1-75, saying the upgrade would be significant.

The 2021 Formula 1 The championship leader had to respond to the devastating pace race winner Max Verstappen showed around Miami, as his Ferrari suffered with the tires in the Miami heat.

Even a safety car at the end of the race erasing the Dutchman’s lead could not help the Monegasque to pass him for the victory.

“It was a very tough race physically,” Leclerc said after the race. “We struggled a lot with the medium tires in the first stint and we got passed. It made our run a bit more difficult from that point on.

“On the hard we were very competitive and towards the end I thought I could get Max at some point, but today they had the edge in terms of pace.

“We have to keep pushing,” insisted the 24-year-old. “The upgrades will be important and hopefully now we can take a step forward from the next race. It has been an exciting start to the season and that is what we like to see.”

In short, a good weekend for Leclerc in Miami

Leclerc added in the team report: “Overall we had a good weekend here in Miami, so of course I’m disappointed to miss out on first place.

“While we had a good pace on the hard tyres, it was trickier for us on the mediums where our competitors were just quicker on today so we couldn’t close the gap in the first stint. .

“I thought we would have a chance to regain the lead after the safety car, but it just wasn’t enough today,” lamented the four-time race winner.

“I thought the atmosphere was amazing this weekend and there was a really good show around the race and I can’t wait to get back,” concluded Leclerc.

Ferrari made the decision to keep both cars on track when the safety car was deployed to clear the Lando Norris/Pierre Gasly crash, and Mattia Binotto was quizzed by the press on whether that was the mistake that had not allowed Leclerc to fight to win it.

Leclerc’s best chance of overtaking was the first lap after the safety car

Binotto said in response: “The reason is that we thought that in terms of heat build-up, a used tire would have been stronger than a new one and we would have suffered more heat-up issues with a new hard one which was the one that had available in the garage.

“So we decided to stay out because we thought it was the best chance for us to have a good warm-up and attack in the early laps, which happened.

“The best opportunity for Charles had been right on the very first lap after the safety car,” revealed the Swiss-born Italian.

Leclerc still remains top of the drivers’ standings, but his lead was reduced to 19 points, as Verstappen took 26 points in Miami after also setting the fastest lap of the race with his bonus point. (Additional report by Agnès Carlier)

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