Despite a strong recovery drive from 28th to 12th in Race 2 at Barcelona, Arthur Leclerc was left frustrated as a post-race time penalty demoted him to P24, but the PREMA rookie was still pleased to have gotten plenty of overtaking practice in.

Speaking after the race, Leclerc revealed he had made an audacious bet with his team that he could make it all the way to 10th, after a puncture at the end of Race 1 forced him to start towards the back of the field.

“I had a little bet with my team that if I finished in the points, I got 50 euros, so I guess that motivated me a bit,” revealed Leclerc. “It was a really good race with a lot of action. We managed to come back and that was the target.

“The pace was really good, but I was struggling with the tyres because it’s not easy in the traffic. It was hard to overtake, but I knew that I had to push a little bit.

“I still had some pace at the end, but it was a lot more difficult in the second race because the track was a lot hotter. I found it was hard to keep the rears from overheating.”

A post-race time penalty demoted Leclerc from P12 to P24
A post-race time penalty demoted Leclerc from P12 to P24

Stepping up from the Formula Regional European Championship, Leclerc said one of the biggest differences between the categories was in overtaking, making his charge from 28th all the more impressive, as well as an excellent learning experience.

“The fighting, the way to overtake, is quite different in this car than what I am used to,” said Leclerc. “There is a lot more downforce in the Formula 3 car and that makes it hard to follow.

“It is a different way to overtake, but that is something that I am learning and can take into the race tomorrow.”