Charles Leclerc has explained the “critical” engine problem that he endured in the final lap of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Leclerc lost 17 seconds to Max Verstappen in the final four laps and crossed the line two-tenths of a second ahead of the Dutchman for fourth place.
The Monegasque driver revealed that his car was overheating, which forced him to back off his pace in order to see the chequered flag.
“It was all about bringing the car to the end, the car was overheating, everywhere,” Leclerc told media including RacingNews365.
“So the pace was not representative. It was all about bringing the car home, but before that, the pace was good. It was good race management from the team.
“[It was] mostly engine, we knew that this was critical. I also was aware that Singapore is always critical for the race.
“After the two Mercedes passed me there wasn’t much to gain any more by pushing, so we decided to bring the car home.”
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Leclerc rues pit stop setback
Leclerc was running in second place early on, having jumped ahead of George Russell at the start of the race on the Soft compound.
However, he then lost out in the pit stop phase as he was held in his pit box for several seconds to allow traffic past.
“I think we did really good race management overall,” he said.
“The Softs, that’s exactly what we wanted to do to take the position to George [Russell], try and create the gap for [team-mate] Carlos [Sainz] to be able to stop one lap later than me without losing the lead.
“That’s exactly what we did, unfortunately, with the Safety Car, that put me on the back foot because I had to lose four or five positions because of that."