Charles Leclerc's British GP came to an end due to a loose wheel nut, which caused him to stop in the gravel after an unfortunate outcome of his pit stop. The Monegasque managed to get into Q3 yesterday, starting 9th and he was up to P7 during the race.
"It was a very good race until that pit stop but in the last three races we topped the best pit stop of the race twice. So we have been very competitive since the beginning of the year. When you are pushing to the limits, sometimes it happens to do mistakes. It's a shame because we were running for P6, Nico Hulkenberg finished there, our car was working very well."
Silverstone was expected to be a tough one for Sauber, which was fearing to lose its momentum after Austria. However, it did not happen in terms of competitiveness, as both cars had the chance to display a great deal of speed. "We did not expect to be fighting there, we still think that this is the hardest track for us. We were putting pressure on Nico with Medium, I was on Softs. I think we would have been ahead of Nico strategically after that pit stop."
About challenging the midfielders he said: "This is the maximum we can get at the moment. We know we need to keep our feet on the ground, we thought it would be a difficult weekend but it was not the case."
Despite the disappointment, Leclerc prefers looking at the whole British GP experience on the bright side. "I can take away just positives. When you push, you make mistakes and it happens to everyone. It's not a big thing, given that we thought we would struggle but in the end it was one of the best of the season. In terms of performance we were close to the best of the rest, especially in qualifying, close to the Haas until Q3. But we are catching them."
Considering Sauber's technical resources and the tremendous amount of progress the team has made throughout the first ten races, the potential to grow is huge. Leclerc is well aware of the fact that the tight contention within the midfield is making everything hard, but he believes the team holds a fair advantage on the driveability aspect: "I keep thinking that in terms of pure potential we are still a bit behind, but we are very good at hitting the right balance in the car, making it easy to drive and that's why we manage to get this performance. If the others keeps struggling with putting their cars on the right balance, it might be better for us."