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 code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Plus

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021