Charles Leclerc admits ‘I wish we could have gone racing’ after the Italian Grand Prix finished behind the safety car… as the Ferrari driver bemoans missing out on the opportunity to win in front of the ‘amazing’ fans at Monza
- Charles Leclerc was looking to win in front of 125,000 Ferrari fans at Monza
- He could only finish second behind championship leader Max Verstappen
- The race ended behind a safety car, meaning the drivers couldn’t race late on
- Leclerc was annoyed that he did not get the opportunity to chase Verstappen
Charles Leclerc was left bitterly disappointed after the Italian Grand Prix finished behind the safety car to take away his opportunity of catching Max Verstappen in the final laps of the race.
Leclerc started on pole, but Verstappen flew through the field and looked to be on course for victory when he opened up a significant lead. However, Daniel Ricciardo was forced to stop his McLaren on the side of the track with five laps remaining, and it looked like a potentially exciting finish was on the cards.
The race marshals were unable to move Ricciardo’s car in time, though, meaning the race failed to get back underway. Leclerc was frustrated by the end of the race, particularly as he was looking for a win in front of 125,000 Ferrari fans at Monza.
Charles Leclerc could only finish second at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon
The race finished behind the safety car, with Max Verstappen leading the drivers home
‘The end was frustrating. I wish we could have gone racing. It’s a shame. I gave my all but we got P2 today,’ he said in the immediate aftermath of the race.
‘I wish I could’ve won in front of the amazing Tifosi we have here, I just couldn’t today.’
Ferrari have been criticised for their strategy at times this season, and they made another controversial call when they pitted Leclerc early under the virtual safety car as Sebastian Vettel retired from the race.
This meant that they then needed to call Leclerc in for another pit stop later in the race, and their gamble failed to pay off.
Leclerc wanted to win in front of 125,000 Ferrari fans at Monza, but had to settle for second
Leclerc hinted that the team tried to catch Red Bull by surprise, but admitted that he was unhappy with the outcome as he came off second best to Verstappen once again.
He continued: ‘We didn’t know what they [Red Bull] were going to do behind so we took that choice. Obviously we finished P2, so I’m not happy with the race. We will work on that.’
Verstappen started down in seventh, but after overtaking four cars on the opening two laps, it always seemed like a matter of time before he caught Leclerc.
Leclerc he was happy with the pace of his car, but acknowledged it was still not good enough to hold off Red Bull.
‘The pace was strong. We will have to look into it, but I think we were quite strong. It just wasn’t enough,’ he conceded.