Charles Leclerc says he wouldn’t have been able to improve his finishing position at the Canadian Grand Prix despite being unaware of Sebastian Vettel’s time penalty as he was “pushing hard” and unable to make up the deficit.

The Ferrari driver admitted he wasn’t told by his team that Vettel was set to serve a five-second time penalty at the last race in Canada, meaning if he finished within five seconds of his teammate he would have been classified ahead of the German driver.

By the chequered flag Leclerc finished just six seconds behind Vettel in third place, effectively meaning if he had bridged a one-second gap he would have taken second place in Montreal ahead of his teammate, but the Monegasque driver played down the incident by saying he was giving his all in the race to close the gap regardless.

“At the end I was pushing hard. Nothing will have changed,” Leclerc said.

“In the race the performance was very strong on my side, I was very happy with it. But in qualifying unfortunately I did some mistakes and I think I’ve been actually lucky to start from third position.

“I think I need to learn from this, try and get better in this particular session and the results will come together.”

Leclerc has also supported Vettel and Ferrari in its request to review the German driver’s penalty from Canada and believes the penalty was unfair.

“I think from the outside it’s pretty clear that Seb lost the control of the car on the grass and then tried to take back the grip on the track,” he said. “There was nothing he could have done differently. I don’t think the penalty was justified.

“For any driver when you get out of the car and you learn you have a penalty that makes you lose the win you always find it frustrating so I understand [Vettel’s reaction].”

Ferrari is set to provide new evidence to the FIA in a hearing tomorrow at Circuit Paul Ricard at 2:15pm on Vettel’s penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix.

 

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