Charles Leclerc was the tragic hero of the Bahrain GP. The Ferrari driver was the second youngest driver in F1 history to start from pole position and was confidently leading the race until just a few laps before the checkered flag came down but was hit by a problem with technology while heading for victory.
The ERS on Leclerc’s Ferrari stopped working, causing him to be considerably down on speed. He had to let eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas go through in the final stages. Still, aided by a late safety car period, he was able to salvage P3, otherwise Max Verstappen would have taken his place on the podium.
"It happens. It is part of motorsport", Leclerc said. "Unfortunately today was not our day but I am confident the team has done an amazing job to recover the lack of pace of Australia. Of course I am extremely disappointed, like the whole team, but it happens during the season. We have been lucky in a very unlucky situation. I'm happy to have the safety car at the end otherwise we would have finished even more rearward, and with fuel I don't think we could have been OK."
Leclerc topped his strong performance with the DHL Fastest Lap, for which he was rewarded with an extra point. The Ferrari driver covered the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:33.411 minutes on Lap 38 and was about a tenth faster than Lewis Hamilton, who was second fastest. Not only did Leclerc post the first fastest lap of his career, he was also the first driver from Monaco ever to do so.
McLaren driver Pedro de la Rosa still holds the lap record for the Bahrain International Circuit after posting a blistering time of 1:31.447 minutes in 2005 which remains unbeaten to this day.
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