The race at Mugello had everything. Adrenaline, crashes, overtakes, and of course, the eventual podium finishers. On a bright Sunday afternoon, two red flags could not stop Alex Albon from achieving his first podium. And a constant rival from his early racing days, Charles Leclerc, made it a point to congratulate the Thai driver.
The race engineer started listing the names as per classification order. Leclerc was then heard saying from the team radio, “Very good. Happy for Alex though, first podium”. Before quickly switching to more important affairs stating, “On our side, we need to work guys.” Despite Leclerc’s best efforts, he ended up in P8. Safe to say, it was not exactly a dream scenario for him on the day Ferrari were celebrating their 1000th Grand Prix. In a brief period post the first restart, his SF1000 just did not seem to have the required power. As a result, he found himself off the pace at the sharp turns and corners.
Being overtaken by cars behind him did not help his confidence. Alex Albon pulled out the first move on Leclerc, by going around the outside. And after Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll made similar moves, the Monegasque driver was found reeling in P9. It did not help matters for Ferrari, with his teammate Vettel struggling to find the pace himself.
Starting up from P13 post the restart, Vettel was occasionally passed by former Ferrari driver Raikonnen and Williams’ George Russell. But eventually, with the drivers ahead pitting in for a fresh set of tyres, Vettel was able to overcome the deficit.
After this race, Leclerc finds himself in 8th position in the Driver Standings with 49 points. Ricciardo takes his place in 7th post today’s strong result of P4. Seb Vettel is further down in 13th with 17 points. The action next resumes on 25th September in Sochi Autodrom, Russia. It is a track where Ferrari have generally done well, with Leclerc finishing in P3 and on the podium last season. ‘The Prancing Horse’ will certainly be hoping that they put up a better show, starting with the Qualifying session.