Bahrain Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc struggled to hide his disappointment after being cruelly denied his maiden Formula One victory due to reliability problems.
Taking his first Formula One pole position in yesterday’s qualifying session, Leclerc lost the lead at the start after a poor getaway, but immediately fought back.
Passing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas when the Finn made an error at turn one, Leclerc began to close up on team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the lead.
The Monegasque was quicker than his team-mate and made the pass into turn one to retake the lead of the race, a position he would hold until his car was struck by power unit problems. his car struggled to regenerate any power from the MGU-H.
He began losing four or five seconds per lap to Lewis Hamilton, and was powerless as the Briton passed with a handful of laps to go.
Speaking after the race, Leclerc conceded that he was “extremely disappointed”, but was defiant in his message that Ferrari would recover and come back stronger.
“It happens. It’s part of motorsport,” said Leclerc. “Unfortunately today was not our day. I’m confident that the team has done an amazing job to recover from the lack of pace in Australia.
“Of course I’m extremely disappointed, like the whole team. But we’ve been very lucky in an unlucky situation because we had the safety car at the end otherwise we would’ve finished even more rearward and also I don’t think we would’ve been okay with the fuel.
“Very hard to take, but thank you to the team for the amazing car all weekend long, and I’m pretty sure we’ll come back stronger.
“I didn’t do a very good start, but then we were very strong all race long. It’s a shame to only finish third. It’s part of racing, but we’ll come back stronger.
“Today, third wasn’t our place, but I’m happy anyway.”