Charles Leclerc thinks race wins will start coming “soon” for the improving Ferrari team.
Although the end of both Q3 sessions were disrupted, the 23-year-old was on pole for both recent street races in Monaco and Azerbaijan.
However, Leclerc finished just fourth on Sunday – but he said the most important goal at present isn’t going all-out for victory, but beating McLaren to third place in the constructors’ championship.
“I didn’t want to take a lot of risks,” he said after Sunday’s race at Baku, “even if I took enough of them in the last two laps.
“But as I have said, we must not forget that we are fighting with McLaren and there were a lot of points up for grabs here.”
Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was less philosophical after finishing eighth at Baku.
“We have to investigate and understand why our pace in general wasn’t as good as it was in qualifying,” said the Spaniard.
“I had problems getting the tyres up to temperature, I locked up the fronts a lot, whether they were soft or hard. It’s something for us to improve.”
Leclerc, though, insists that Ferrari’s progress in 2021 – particularly in the context of the ultra-uncompetitive 2020 season – is clear.
“I like to look at things as a whole,” he said, “and in that sense we are making progress. We can’t be discouraged when we have a more difficult race than another one.
“If you look at the pace, we were not very far from Mercedes and Red Bull with the hard tyres in the middle of the race, so there are many positive things.
“Having said that, we can’t be happy with this fourth, because we are here to win. But we are giving everything and I’m sure that victories will come soon,” said Leclerc.