Charles Leclerc says his inability to keep up with Miami Grand Prix race winner Max Verstappen during his first stint on the medium tyre set him up for a difficult race.
Starting from pole, the Ferrari charger held his own during the opening laps of Miami's inaugural event, but the Monegasque was eventually defenseless in his efforts to keep Verstappen at bay, with the Dutchman making the most of his Red Bull's superior top speed on the straights.
Despite a late Safety Car that reset the race and offered Leclerc a second chance to challenge his rival, Verstappen upheld his lead to cross the checkered flag 3.7s ahead of the Scuderia driver.
"We struggled quite a bit with the medium tyres, especially in the first stint and got overtaken there," said Leclerc.
"Then it made our race a bit more difficult from that moment onwards. On the hard we were very competitive and towards the end, I thought I could get Max at one point.
"Today they had the advantage in terms of pace. But it was fun. And it's amazing to see so many people again, I kept saying it but yeah, it's great to have so many Ferrari fans in the grandstands."
So far, Ferrari has held off on implementing a major upgrade on its F1-75. But Leclerc hopes that new parts will come sooner rather than later, and preferably at the next round of racing in Barcelona.
"We need to we need to keep pushing," added Leclerc.
"Upgrades will be very important throughout the year. And I hope now that we can do a step up from the next race onwards.
"But it's been tight since the beginning of the season."