Leclerc pleased by Ferrari gains after easy P4 at Portuguese GP

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Charles Leclerc was delighted with the pace of his Ferrari after a comfortable fourth place at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

After losing out in the damp conditions on the opening lap, the Monegasque soon made his way back up to P4, where he started, and would have a lonely race at that point, with half-minute gaps to Max Verstappen in third and Pierre Gasly in fifth.

It was a result which validated the direction of Ferrari's recent upgrades to the SF1000, which culminated in a new diffuser and other aero parts at Portimao.

Leclerc's pace also saw the issues on high fuel at the start of the race seemingly improved dramatically.

“I’m extremely happy,” Charles said via in the paddock. “Not because we didn’t get lapped but mostly because our race pace, in general, has been very positive today.

"We’ve been struggling quite a lot at the start, which cost us quite a lot of overall time for the race, but in the end, we caught back quite a lot and so overall I’m quite happy with our performance today.”

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While the race was fairly comfortable for Leclerc once it had settled, he did admit the first laps with a touch of rain around were tough.

“It was a very difficult one because the first half of the race, I had to be very, very patient,” said Leclerc.

“I was getting overtaken a bit everywhere, and then lap after lap I could feel it was coming and then it paid off at the end.

"But I felt quite good in the car. It was tricky, I had a lot of moments where I thought I would crash, but in the end, I kept it on track, and fourth place is a great place to [be].”

Certainly, the progress is a good sign ahead of the third and final race in Italy this year in a week's time at Imola.