Charles Leclerc has described Ferrari’s 2019 Formula 1 campaign as “a bit of a weird season” after the team’s performance dramatically fluctuated throughout the year.

Ferrari had been tipped as pre-season favourites following winter testing but Mercedes got off the blocks fastest, recording five straight 1-2 finishes and winning the first eight races.

The Scuderia struggled to extract the most from its SF90 package, particularly with regards to getting its tyres into the optimum working range, but strong engine gains led to a resurgence in the second half of the season.

Ferrari claimed six consecutive pole positions following the summer break and won three races in a row in Belgium, Italy and Singapore, before its competitiveness mysteriously tailed off once more in the final rounds.

“It’s been a bit of a weird season,” Leclerc explained.

“We started definitely not where we thought we would start after winter testing. Winter testing was very positive and we arrive at the first race and we have been struggling quite a lot.

“After that I think the progression was very good. Austin was a little bit weird too; we still don’t really understand why we were so off the pace.

“Brazil we were back to where we wanted to be. But overall we progressed quite a lot, which I think is the most important [thing].

“Now I’m really looking forward to keeping this momentum for next year,” he added.

“It’s the first time in my single-seater where I stay in the same team from one year to another, which also should be an interesting challenge to develop a car.

“Let’s see, but overall I think it has been a positive season, apart from the first race, which has been very negative.”

Leclerc claimed seven poles and won two races in his maiden year at Ferrari to end the year fourth in the championship as he finished 24 points clear of four-time world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel.

 

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