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Leclerc concedes Ferrari backwards step

Leclerc concedes Ferrari backwards step

F1 News

Leclerc concedes Ferrari backwards step

Leclerc concedes Ferrari backwards step

Charles Leclerc has conceded Ferrari lacked the pace to challenge for the Dutch Grand Prix victory and believes the Scuderia has taken a backwards step.

The Monégasque started the Dutch Grand Prix second on the grid having pushed Max Verstappen to 0.021secs in qualifying.

But Mercedes found pace on race day to push Leclerc down the order, only for Lewis Hamilton's late-race strategy risk to help promote the one-time championship leader onto the podium for the first time since winning in Austria.

Asked if there was anything he could have done differently to improve on third at Zandvoort, Leclerc replied: "Not really, we just didn't have the pace. We didn't… we weren't quick enough.

"So this is the main focus at the moment, to try and bring back the speed that we had at the beginning of the season.

"We seem to have lost it, a little bit of pace in the in the long runs especially."

Leclerc details Ferrari lack of pace

Ferrari had started the season with what most believed as superior machinery to Red Bull, with the Milton Keynes-based team soundly beaten in Australia particularly whilst also experiencing mechanical gremlins.

But as time has gone by, the Scuderia's package has slipped behind the RB18 and instead looks threatened by an ever-improving Mercedes W13.

On whether the lack of form was a case of Ferrari taking a step back, Leclerc countered: "No, I think everybody is obviously improving but in the last races, we've been struggling more a bit more in race pace.

"Now Mercedes is also in the fight and they are very quick. They were extremely quick, especially on the harder compounds.

"I think our pace on the soft was really good at the beginning. We had used tyres, Max was on new, so I think the difference was more or less what we expected.

"But then, on the new medium, we were slower than expected, for sure."

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