Arthur Leclerc was one of the biggest winners in the Formula 3 Sprint Race, making his way up to fifth having started from P20 on the grid. The PREMA Racing driver took valuable points to close the gap in the Drivers’ Championship to now sit just five points off leader Isack Hadjar.
As the drama unfolded around and ahead of him, Leclerc kept himself out of trouble and made regular progress up the order throughout the 15-lap Sprint.
Afterwards the Ferrari Academy junior said that it was all about being in the right place at the right time and taking the opportunities as they arrived.
“I feel great, it was a great race, a bit hard in the first laps to find the right place to be on track because there were cars everywhere. We had really great pace and were able to come back. It’s a positive race despite the tricky Qualifying yesterday. I’ll take the points and I’m happy with that.
“I’m just taking opportunities as they come. I think we have the pace to put it in P5, had the pace to overtake people in front, they were struggling a bit more than me. I just took those opportunities and that was it really.”
PREMA teammate Oliver Bearman took victory to close on Leclerc in the standings, but the gap to Championship leader Hadjar stands at only five points for the Monégasque. The Hitech Grand Prix driver was only able to take two points while Victor Martins ended the Sprint outside of the scoring positions.
While Leclerc would like to be fighting from a starting position further up the grid, he sees no reason why there can’t be a repeat in the Feature Race on Sunday, with more time to climb up the order.
With that said, he understands that there’s no guarantee of points and that a lot will depend on what unfolds ahead of him come Sunday morning’s race.
“In the end, when we look at the full results, we were quite lucky in that all the contenders didn’t do a good Qualifying, we were one of the best actually! Staring P20, we can’t be too happy but it's great to take points off them, we won’t be alone in that fight in the final races because I think a few other drivers will come up in the standings so I’m not focused on one driver more than any other, just focused on myself and trying to do the best that I can.
“To be honest, before race one I said that top 10 would be a really good result, top five would be an incredible result and a podium would be…let’s not think about it too much! It will be the same tomorrow. A lot happened in the race today, maybe tomorrow there won’t be as much drama and the other teams are improving race by race too, they’ll know more what to expect and so will we. We will do a step in the right direction but let’s see.”