Charles Leclerc admits he was left wanting more from the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, despite finishing seventh in his final Formula 1 race for Sauber.

Leclerc made early progress from eighth on the Yas Marina grid thanks to a brilliant start that saw him fighting with Romain Grosjean and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap.

The Monegasque pulled off a great move on Ricciardo and ran as high as fourth when he passed Kimi Raikkonen, the driver he will replace at Ferrari in 2019.

Driver Ratings - Abu Dhabi GP

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Sauber opted to stop Leclerc under an early Virtual Safety Car period, but the call backfired when he lost time battling back through traffic having returned to the circuit in 14th. Leclerc recovered to seal his third straight seventh-place finish and cap off an impressive debut season.

“I think that there was more in the race for us, but we rounded off the season with a decent P7 and some more points,” Leclerc said.

“I would like to thank the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for this incredible year and everything they have taught me.

“It has been great to work together and to see all of the effort reflected in the progress we have made. We can all be proud to have been part of it, and I wish them all the best for the future.”

The result ensured Sauber clinched eighth place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Toro Rosso and Williams. Team principal Frederic Vasseur hailed the Swiss squad’s progress throughout the season en route to sealing its best finish since 2015.

“It is a great feeling to finish the championship in P8, especially if you look back at where we were last year and for the first two events,” Vasseur added.

“The improvements made have been huge, and this is thanks to the work done by the team at the track and in the factory.

“Our targets have risen, and the motivation for next year is high across all departments.

“A huge credit for our evolution goes to the drivers, who did a great job together and pushed each other to improve session after session and race after race.

“We thank Marcus and Charles for their great contribution and wish them both all the best for the future.”



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