Leclerc was "intimidated" by adapting Ferrari F1 car to himself

Charles Leclerc says he is no longer reluctant to adapt the Ferrari Formula 1 car to suit his driving style, having been "a little bit intimidated" early in 2019

Leclerc was "intimidated" by adapting Ferrari F1 car to himself

Leclerc's maiden season with Ferrari came after his debut F1 campaign with Sauber, and he is currently on a streak of four successive podiums, leading Ferrari's charge in the latest races in France, Austria and Great Britain.

The Ferrari driver said he had made a change to the way he works with the 2019 car around the time of the French GP and believes the new method has helped him to extract more performance.

"I think before France it was more myself that was adapting to the car, after that I think we changed the approach a little bit and I adapted the car a bit more to my driving [style]," Leclerc explained.

"So then I could drive a little bit more naturally, which helped me."

Asked why he had not been able to make the change before the French GP, Leclerc said: "Arriving in such a big team, when I arrived it was only my second year in Formula 1, you are a little bit intimidated - or I was a little bit intimidated.

"And to straight away arrive and say 'OK, I want this, this and this' was not the way I wanted to start this relationship.

"So at first, I wanted to understand the car, try to adapt my driving [style] as much as possible to the car.

"At one point, I managed to do good things adapting my driving style [to the car], but then I felt that there was more performance by trying to put the car a little bit more into my direction, and this has helped the performance since then."

Leclerc's recent run of form has allowed him to close to within three points of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with the four-time F1 champion having qualified and finished behind his fellow Ferrari driver in each of the last three races.

But while Leclerc is now more at ease with the SF90, he has backed Vettel to rediscover his form.

"I think at the end Seb has done very good races too, maybe hasn't been so lucky in the last few ones but I'm pretty sure that very soon he'll be back on top, it's just a matter of time," he said.

shares
comments
The German GP updates beneath Mercedes F1 team's anniversary livery

Previous article

The German GP updates beneath Mercedes F1 team's anniversary livery

Next article

German GP: Bodywork overhaul focus of Racing Point's F1 upgrade

German GP: Bodywork overhaul focus of Racing Point's F1 upgrade
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021