'Today was not our day', says unlucky Leclerc

Third placed Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari in the post race FIA Press Conference.
© XPB 

Charles Leclerc was left ruing what might have been after missing out on what had seemed certain to be his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix race victory on Sunday in Bahrain.

Despite losing the lead at the start of the race, the 21-year-old from Monaco regrouped and fought his way back to the front in just four laps.

After that he appeared out of touch of his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel, and the two Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

But with over ten seconds in hand on lap 47, Leclerc told the pit wall that there was “something was seriously wrong with the engine”.

It left him limping the rest of the way to the line, during which time he was passed by both Hamilton and Bottas before the chequered flag.

“It happens. It’s part of motorsport,” Leclerc said after the race, admitting that of course he was "extremely disappointed" to miss out on the victory.

“I didn’t do a very good start, but then we were very strong all race long.

“Unfortunately today was not our day," he continued. “Very hard to take, but thank you to the team for the amazing car all weekend long.

"I’m pretty sure we’ll come back stronger," he insisted. "I’m confident that the team has done an amazing job to recover from the lack of pace in Australia."

Although he missed out on victory, Leclerc did end up with his first ever Formula 1 podium position after a late safety car prevented Red Bull's Max Verstappen from passing him in the final seconds.

Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari

"We’ve been very lucky in an unlucky situation," Leclerc acknowledged. "We had the safety car at the end, otherwise we would’ve finished even more rearward

"Also I don’t think we would’ve been okay with the fuel," he revealed.

"It’s a shame to only finish third. It’s part of racing, but we’ll come back stronger," he added. "Today, third wasn’t our place, but I’m happy anyway.

“As I have said a lot in the past, I am never looking at the result, I am looking at the potential to do better."

One of the first people to console Leclerc after the race finished was the man who had inherited the race win.

"I’m sure it was a devastating result for him," Hamilton commented. "He did such a great job, he had done the job to win race. He deserved to win."

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