Leclerc finished fourth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, nine seconds clear of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in fifth and nearly 20 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

The Monegasque was able to get ahead of Valtteri Bottas at the start, with an impressive move around the outside of the Finn at Turn 3 - reminiscent of Fernando Alonso in 2013.

“I had a good start,” Leclerc said after the race. “Then I went for the outside in Turn 3 and it worked out for us and then from that moment onwards, we’ve had a very, very good race, very competitive throughout the whole race, and surely for now, P4 is the best we could have done today.



“So I’m happy with what the team have done over the weekend; we should be happy in moments like this and now we need to just work more and to improve the car and fight for third.”

Ferrari trails McLaren by just five points in the constructors’ championship after enduring a torrid 2020 campaign, where it finished sixth overall.

Leclerc says the team’s performance in Spain is further proof the Italian marquee is back on the right track.

“It feels very good,” Leclerc added. “It just means that everything we do, every direction we’ve taken so far in terms of development is the right one, and we can show it on track. It’s always a good feeling, and I’m pretty sure that everyone in Maranello is happy to see the result on track.”

Carlos Sainz was left frustrated with his race after being stuck behind Ricciardo for much of it, eventually finishing seventh.

"Not exactly sure what happened on the lap one and what I could have done differently to gain positions but from there it was a race of staying behind people," Sainz explained. 

"A bit frustrating to be fair because today immediately in the stint I felt that the car was behaving well and that I was very comfortable with the car. I knew a good start would be key and it didn't happen.

"Lando, I could overtake because we were on a big tyre delta and Daniel, for example, we were on the same tyres, but I think we were three or four-tenths faster."




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