Charles Leclerc was far from pleased with his display at the Portuguese Grand Prix, saying he still has “a lot to learn”.
Leclerc usually is a driver who draws praise for his qualifying achievements, but at the Portuguese Grand Prix he was beaten in this department for the first time by Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies did say that Leclerc was lacking his usual “magic” during qualifying in Portimao, and overall Leclerc feels he still has “a lot to learn” when it comes to both Fridays and Saturdays during a race weekend.
“I feel like yesterday shows also that I’ve got a lot to learn still,” said Leclerc after the race, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“Surely qualifying is one of my strengths. But yesterday, and overall, this weekend has been quite poor for me. So, very inconsistent. So there’s still a lot to work on on my side.
“What I learned from this weekend is maybe I should have taken it step by step, especially on such a difficult weekend like this.
“I’ve tried to push the car to its limit straight away and it made my weekend very, very messy.
“If I look Friday and Saturday, they haven’t been very good days for me, and I was just all over the place and once in 10 laps I managed to do a very good lap, but I was just not consistent.
“Maybe in those conditions, I should have taken it a bit more step by step, which I did today [in the race].”
Sainz has adapted well to life at Ferrari, but despite getting the better of Leclerc in Q3 at the Portuguese GP, he still does not feel at the same level as the two-time race winner.
“Just because I improved on Charles at Portimao doesn’t mean I’m going to do it at every race from now on,” he explained.
“I think I’m still a step behind where I would like to be and where I want to be, but it’s a good sign, it’s also the result of hard work and we have to keep moving forward.
“As for Charles, I don’t need to talk about him, you’ve all seen how fast he is. It will be very difficult to get in front of him in any race and at any track and we will have to keep trying to improve.”