'More complete' Leclerc rates Silverstone P2 among best F1 races

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Charles Leclerc rates his second-place finish at the British Grand Prix "very highly" in his list of best Formula 1 races.

The Ferrari driver capitalised on the drama involving Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to take the lead on the opening lap at Silverstone, having got ahead of Valtteri Bottas at the start.

From there, Leclerc would be in front for a total of 50 of the 52 laps, only to be denied a third F1 win by a charging Hamilton late on.

After the race, however, Charles admits the performance that got him to his first podium in a year was proof of the progress he has made.

“Oh I definitely rate it very high because yeah I feel I’m a more complete driver than I was in 2019 that’s for sure,” Leclerc said via Crash.net.

“Today I don’t think I’ve done any mistakes or any big mistakes. Surprisingly, we were pushing a lot on these tyres so the mistakes were easy to do but I actually pushed 100% from the first lap to the last lap and it felt good.

"As a team, first of all, the car was amazing and we managed very well the difficult situation in the first stint when we had the small engine cuts and overall, we managed very well as a team which was good to see.”

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After two good races in Austria, Ferrari had gone to Silverstone fearing a repeat of their tyre problems at Paul Ricard last month, given the British circuit is also front limited.

But team boss Mattia Binotto was pleased to discover those concerns were unfounded.

“I think obviously it was disappointing [to lose the win] two laps from the end but I think we should be pleased as well, pleased with the race performance, for the entire weekend performance,” Binotto told Sky Italia.

“After France as well I think the team results, we somehow understood the weaknesses and now this is three races in a row where we have had good pace in the race which was a weakness at the start of the season.

"This is showing that as a team we are progressing and that is what I am more pleased of especially when we look at the second part of the season. 

“Now, after 10 races, we’ve got 17 points more than what we had at the end of the last season as a team. Showing certainly the progress.”

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Ferrari also remains within touching distance of McLaren for third in the Constructors' standings with the gap currently 15 points. 

"It’s clear that – I said it even before the season – this team can take the third place," Binotto said. "They always did that in previous years, except for 2020. They also often finished second.

"So it’s our ambition. There’s no doubt we absolutely want to finish third, but our goal even before finishing third is to improve in every aspect, as a team.

"We are doing that, we saw that in the race pace, and I think third position is just a foregone conclusion of our hard work."