Charles Leclerc said he got “angry” at his radio messages in Spain because he wanted to chase a podium, but he was told about cars behind him instead.
The Ferrari driver had an excellent weekend, putting his car P4 on the grid and sweeping around the outside of Valtteri Bottas at Turn 3 at the start to get himself into the podium places.
Bottas managed to get back past the Monegasque, but although a fourth-placed finish was “the perfect race” for the Prancing Horse – Leclerc had hoped to get more out of the Spanish Grand Prix.
“Yes, a lot,” Leclerc told Sky Italy when asked if he hoped for a podium. “Indeed on the radio I got angry because they kept telling me the times of Ricciardo, but I wanted the ones of Bottas behind me because I wanted to aim for the podium.
“There was optimism but in the end, I wanted to try, but we didn’t make it.
“Honestly today we did the perfect race. We didn’t make any mistakes, the strategy was good, the tyre management was good as well. At the beginning I made that overtake on Bottas, I saw the opportunity, I thought we couldn’t change the fourth position, but I saw a space on the left and I tried to overtake and it went well.
“Then the stint with the softs was really competitive, as the one with the mediums. I think we had even more pace than the one we showed, because I tried to handle the tyres until [Sergio] Perez arrived. Yes, we had a good race.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 9, 2021
Leclerc spoke about the “motivation” inside Ferrari at the moment, with the team looking much more competitive when compared to their 2020 challenger.
He added that he is also still working on his driving style, making improvements in how he manages his tyres over a race distance.
“We did a really good race, in particular with the tyre management,” he added. “I’m working a lot on that. In 2019 I was really weak on that and we saw that because I had many poles but not a lot of wins. That was my fault.
“So I worked on that, in 2020 I was better at it, now this year I think I made a huge step forward. So I’ll keep working on that, but for sure I already made a huge step forward.
“This year even if we’ve not achieved podiums yet, I think we’re in a better situation compared to last year.
“The feeling is good, there’s a lot of motivation inside the team. And these are not strokes of luck, this fourth place today we deserved it on track, while last year the podiums were more luck than something else.”
Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla