Leclerc expects Ferrari to go "back to reality" after Monaco

Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari will go “back to reality” after taking a surprise Formula 1 pole position in Monaco two weeks ago, feeling the team’s pace was a “one-off”.

Leclerc expects Ferrari to go "back to reality" after Monaco

Ferrari spent the first four races of the season largely battling McLaren to lead the F1 midfield, but enjoyed a surprising upswing in form around the low-speed Monaco layout.

Leclerc scored Ferrari’s first pole position since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, but failed to start the race due to damage sustained in his crash at the end of qualifying.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz finished the race in second place, marking his first podium for the team and Ferrari’s best result of the season so far.

But Leclerc was quick to downplay any suggestions that this could mark Ferrari’s arrival in the fight with Red Bull and Mercedes at the front, feeling its form would return to normal at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I think it will be a bit back to reality now,” Leclerc said.

“Monaco was a one-off. We were fighting for the victory, which was incredible and very nice for the motivation of everyone.

PLUS: The signs that suggest Leclerc will come back stronger from another Monaco blow

“But now, with long straights and a bit more high-speed in general here, even though there are quite a lot of slow speed corners, I believe we will be back to the to the normal competitiveness that we've that we've had before Monaco.”

Asked if there were any other tracks where Ferrari could perform as well as it did in Monaco, Leclerc picked Singapore, hoping the street course would again play to the strengths of the SF21 car.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“The simple answer is that I felt like Monaco was a one-off,” Leclerc said.

“If we are looking at the calendar, I think one that could look the most similar to Monaco is probably Singapore.

“But then whether it will be as competitive or not, I don't know the conditions are very different, very humid. It's quite a bit warmer. 

“But I if you look at the track characteristics, I think Singapore is the one that gets the closest to to Monaco.”

Monaco marked the first race where Ferrari had been as competitive as Red Bull and Mercedes in terms of pure performance since the end of 2019, having seen its form slump dramatically last year.

Leclerc took confidence in the aerodynamic performance of the SF21 car, saying it gave him a good level of balance through the slow-speed corners.

“We think the aero actually, even today, with how much aero we have on the car, it's actually quite powerful,” Leclerc said.

“So in the low-speed corners, it's a combination of chassis and aero that makes it quite nice. The balance is also quite nice in the low-speed corners, which helps us so it's a combination of things that makes our car quite strong in the low-speed.

“We were even stronger on the low-speed in Monaco than we were basically in the low-speed of all the tracks before, so I think there was maybe something more in Monaco that that we need to to understand.

“But as I said, Monaco is a one-off, so we shouldn't get carried away too much.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why F1 shouldn't be too rigid about flexi-wings

Previous article

Why F1 shouldn't be too rigid about flexi-wings

Next article

FIA clamps down on "unnecessarily" slow driving ahead of Baku F1 round

FIA clamps down on "unnecessarily" slow driving ahead of Baku F1 round
Load comments
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021