Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc hailed an enormous step ahead as Formulation One championship runner-up on Sunday and hoped to go one higher subsequent season.
The Monegasque completed second to Crimson Bull’s double world champion Max Verstappen within the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Contemplating the place we have been final 12 months, it’s a very massive step ahead,” mentioned the 25-year-old, who received three of the season’s 22 races whereas workforce mate Carlos Sainz triumphed as soon as.
Ferrari completed as championship runners-up to Crimson Bull, after ending final 12 months third and with no win. Additionally they drew a clean in 2020, after they have been sixth general.
Ferrari had 12 pole positions this 12 months, essentially the most of any workforce and 10 greater than final season, in addition to 16 podium finishes.
Leclerc had been seventh general in 2021, with Sainz fifth, and this season has been his finest but in Formulation One even when Ferrari followers are upset the workforce fell brief once more.
“I believe we improved all through the tip of the season by way of technique,” mentioned Leclerc, who received two of the 12 months’s first three races earlier than his title bid fell aside in a mixture of mechanical unreliability, driver errors and technique errors.
“We nonetheless must work by way of race tempo, as a result of on Sunday we appear to wrestle a bit extra. However we’ll push throughout the winter break to be able to catch them again a bit of.”
Leclerc made a one-stop technique work on Sunday whereas Perez pitted twice and was unable to rein in his rival regardless of an thrilling late chase.
“I’m assured that by way of tempo, we’ll handle to catch Crimson Bull again subsequent 12 months,” mentioned Leclerc.
Staff boss Mattia Binotto mentioned the workforce had succeeded in getting again to being aggressive.
“We are able to put 2022 behind us understanding that we made loads of progress and, as from Tuesday, we’ll begin getting ready for the brand new problem that awaits us in 2023,” he mentioned.
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