A first Formula One podium has rarely been met with such collective disappointment however, for Leclerc, it turned out to be a mere consolation prize for what has to have been a fantasy maiden Formula One win.
Even the power unit problems which struck the Ferrari SF90 at the closing stages of the race proved enough to allow Mercedes a golden chance to pinch an unlikely fated victory, together with LeWIS Hamilton leading team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Up until then, it was a refined drive from Leclerc. Despite a poor escape from the gridhe kept his composure and calmly, however assertively, reeled in race-leader Vettel and on lap six passed the four-time winner across the exterior of one.
Leclerc subsequently retreated, whilst Vettel had been compelled to attempt to fend off Hamilton across the pit stop phases.
Vettel’s defence failed, and also the other mistake in wheel-to-wheel struggle supposed he spent the closing stages of the race fighting back for a top five spot. It turned out to be a poor outcome for the guy who’d have been in the prime position to capitalise on Leclerc’s reliability problems.
Similar mid-race spins happened in Italy (vs Hamilton), Japan (vs Verstappen) and USA (vs Ricciardo), the accumulation which means Vettel could now be facing pressure from their own team-mate to validate his stance since the number 1 motorist.
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images