Leclerc took the lead of the race at Silverstone after getting past Valtteri Bottas at the start, before overtaking Lewis Hamilton who had just collided with Max Verstappen at Copse corner.

Surprisingly, Leclerc was able to manage the pace at the front of the field, resisting the threat of Hamilton on the medium tyres.

Leclerc relinquished the lead to Hamilton on Lap 50, who showed outstanding pace on the harder rubber to take his eighth win on home soil.

While it was his best result of the season, the Monegasque driver was left with conflicting emotions.

“I don’t even know how I feel to be honest,” Leclerc told Sky Sports. “Half of me is very, very disappointed, half of me is very, very happy. I haven’t found which side I want to go yet. Of course, I am extremely happy about the pace. I am extremely happy with what we’ve shown today.

“We didn’t think that we had a car to fight where we fought today, especially with all the problems we had in the first stint that carried on a little bit for the race with these engine cuts. On the hards, we were a little bit less competitive compared to Mercedes and whenever I heard the pace of Lewis I was like ‘it’s just a matter of time’ until he comes back to me. I still had the hope that I could keep him behind but the difference of pace was just too big.”

Leclerc’s chances of finishing on the podium were put under serious threat in the first stint as he suffered intermittent losses of power.

After the race, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto revealed that the power cuts were related to the management of the fuel system.

Binotto explained: “We need to look at it carefully but it was related to the management of the fuel system. We had to somehow manage it through steering wheel switches, try driver defaults to fix it.

“We will have to have a look. He had some [power] cuts that we fixed which were not that damaging the power or his pace at the end of the race.”