Charles Leclerc has said there are “no words” to describe the emotions of winning the Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari, in front of the Tifosi.
The 21-year-old had to fend off the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and successfully did so, on his way to winning the Italian Grand Prix and his second victory in as many races.
By winning at Monza, Leclerc became the first Ferrari driver to win the Italian Grand Prix since Fernando Alonso did so in 2010 and Leclerc was unable to put in to words the emotions he was feeling after the race.
“There are no words to describe the emotions I felt during the race, after the race, or on the podium.” commented Leclerc.
“It felt ten times stronger than anything I have ever experienced in my whole career. It was very special.
“When I arrive at a race weekend, I usually don’t think about winning, I just try to do the best job possible and tell myself that the results will come.
“But to be honest, seeing all of the support from our tifosi here in Monza this weekend, the only thing I could think of was winning and that’s what we did, so I am very happy.”
The Monegasque driver felt he was control in the early part of the race, holding Hamilton at bay, but found things harder after the pit-stop.
Ferrari knew that the Mercedes was the faster car on the medium compound tyre so decided to put Leclerc on to the hard compound for the second stint.
It meant that Leclerc was slightly slower initially in the stint, but had a tyre capable of easily reaching the end of the race without reaching the wear limit.
Although it was a risky strategy, Leclerc was able to re-join ahead of Hamilton and put in a strong defensive display to hold him at bay, sometimes on the limit, and it was enough to secure him the race win.
“The first stint was quite controlled, but the second stint was a bit less strong on my side.” added Leclerc.
“I had to focus on the car behind me a lot as the gap was closing. It was very difficult and I had a lot of pressure on me.”