Charles Leclerc says his first port of call after his Spanish Grand Prix retirement was to cheer up his Ferrari mechanics, rather than pointing fingers over his power unit issue. The Monegasque was on course for a dominant victory in Barcelona when, having built a commanding lead, his engine started to lose power. Leclerc had been enjoying a lonely race out front, while Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez battled it out with the much-improved Mercedes of George Russell behind. But the Ferrari driver left the weekend empty-handed and, for the first time this season, has lost his place at the top of the World Championship standings.
Leclerc shows complete faith in Ferrari after DNF
Despite the heartbreak, Leclerc remained calm and respectful towards his crew as they cleared a space for him in the garage. Once out of his car, he admits that his first priority was to cheer up his team of "pretty down" mechanics who had seen their hard work amount to nothing. "I mean, overall, it's always a disappointment," Leclerc said, speaking to members of the media that including RacingNews365.com . "And obviously, when you're fighting for a championship, you know that every point is very valuable. But over the course of a season, I think it always more or less happens, which is not an excuse for sure. "I'm pretty sure that everyone is already working flat out to understand all of it and to fix it as quickly as possible. "Everyone is as disappointed as me with what's happened. There was just no reason for me to be angry at anybody getting out of the car. "I just wanted to see the mechanics to cheer them up a little bit because they were pretty down."
Ferrari take step forward, despite DNF
Despite the disappointment of drawing a blank in Spain, Leclerc feels that Ferrari's weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was packed with more positives than negatives. "I feel better after this weekend than I felt after the last few weekends," he said. "I'm very disappointed but, on the other hand, I think there's plenty of positive signs throughout the weekend: our qualifying pace, the new package works as expected, which is not always a given, and our race pace and tyre management. "On tyre management, after the last few races, we've been trailing quite a bit compared to Red Bull. And [on Sunday] it was strong. "So yeah, in those situations, I think it's good to also look at the positives and there are plenty."