Leclerc got the jump on George Russell at the start to give Ferrari a 1-2 in the opening phase of the race.

The Safety Car on Lap 20 caused by Logan Sargeant meant that Leclerc had to queue, losing out to Russell and Lando Norris.

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Speaking after the race, Leclerc admitted winning the race “wasn’t the plan” and helping his teammate take Ferrari’s first win of the year was the main priority.

“Honestly, this wasn’t the plan. Since this morning, things have been very, very clear and that’s why I went on the soft,” he said.

“I changed my mind very last minute just to make sure that I was in front of George in the first stint because then it was really clear it was beneficial for Carlos because obviously he was making the gap.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t been very lucky with the Safety Cars. That meant I had to wait inside the pits for traffic and there I basically lost the race.

“But all in all, the win was the priority today and we did a really good race management with the team.”

In the latter part of the race, Leclerc did run as high as third before dropping back down to fifth.

Ferrari decided to keep Leclerc out at the Virtual Safety Car, while Mercedes pitted Russell and Lewis Hamilton for new mediums to allow them to contend for the victory.

“Then on the Hards, I was trying my best and then as soon as George and Lewis passed me, it was all about bringing the car to the end,” he explained.

“The car was overheating everywhere so the pace wasn’t representative there. It was all about bringing the car to the end.

“Before that, the pace was good and it was good race management from the team.”