Charles Leclerc has pinpointed tyre management as the key area he needs to improve in order to beat Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc outqualified Vettel during Saturday’s qualifying session and ran ahead of his teammate in the lead group during the early stages, before he quickly fell away from the battling duo of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

The Monegasque driver struggled to conserve his tyres in the opening stint of the race, which prompted an earlier than scheduled pit stop, before he faced similar degradation issues towards the end.

His lack of pace enabled Vettel to catch up despite running a long final stint on the Soft compound, before the German dived up the inside of Leclerc with an aggressive move at Turn 1 to snatch the final spot on the podium.

“The tyres were going off [at the end],” Leclerc explained.

“We pitted quite early on the first stint, mostly because I was struggling with tyres and then on the second stint towards the end.

“I’ve been struggling with tyres again, the rears, and that’s something that Seb is doing better than me at the moment in the long runs where there’s degradation.

“So I need to understand where it’s coming from and try to understand that. 

“At the end I think we adapted the strategy to myself, because I struggled with tyres in the first stint so I couldn’t go much longer.”

Leclerc finished four seconds behind his teammate at the chequered flag and now trails Vettel by 24 points in the championship. 

 

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