After struggling for performance in 2020 where Ferrari suffered a double DNF in front of Tifosi, Leclerc believes fourth was the maximum result possible.
“I gave it all, really everything, there was not much more to do,” Leclerc said. “Every opportunity there was I tried to take it, as soon as Valtteri passed me I tried to pass him again and succeeded but they were too quick, especially in the third sector and into Turn 1.
“It made us very vulnerable and it was very difficult to overtake but very easy to be overtaken. So it was not the easiest but at the end if you look where we were last year and where we are now it is a big step forward, so we need to keep working like this.
“And on my own performance I rate it as my top five performances in Formula 1, I really feel like I’ve given absolutely everything, so on that I’m happy but we need to keep working to be fighting for the win very soon.”
Carlos Sainz struggled after his latest shunt in second practice – his third in four rounds.
Sainz described his Italian GP as “very tricky” and “difficult”.
“In race runs I was sliding a lot the rear, never quite had the top speed, was struggling with tyre degradation, It’s [been] very tricky, it’s been a difficult weekend for me and now I need to analyse what I can do better for the next race.
“Yeah, we were always there very close to the opportunity but never quite had the pace and the tools to get in the fight. We have certain weaknesses with the car that are too big, when we were in a fight it was very difficult to keep the others behind or attack them.
“It’s a shame because you could always see the podium there very close to you but never had the chance to fight for it.”