Leclerc says "very small" changes key to Spa victory hopes

Belgian Grand Prix poleman Charles Leclerc hopes "very small" changes to his driving will prevent a repeat of tyre-management issues and earn him a first Formula 1 victory.

Leclerc says "very small" changes key to Spa victory hopes

Ferrari driver Leclerc has admitted he has struggled in some races compared to his experienced teammate Sebastian Vettel, who stole a podium from him late on in the Hungarian GP.

Leclerc will line up on pole for the third time this season in Sunday's race at Spa after dominating qualifying.

"I've been analysing Hungary quite a lot," said Leclerc. "Actually, maybe it looked worse than it actually was. But there's definitely some work to do on my side on this. So, we'll see if it pays off.

"I changed a few things, very small things, but details always makes the difference at this level."

Read Also:

Leclerc failed to convert his two previous starts from pole into victory thanks to an engine problem in Bahrain and being overtaken late on by Max Verstappen in Austria.

He believes there is "nothing" he can take from those defeats into Sunday's race because the engine failure was out of his hand and he has already responded with more aggressive driving in the wake of his defeat to Verstappen, who outmuscled him at the Red Bull Ring.

"I guess, at first, it feels a bit weird when you are coming to Formula 1 and you do your first laps in the lead," Leclerc added.

"So, the more laps I am in the lead, the more comfortable I am. And this feels good."

Ferrari is yet to win a race in 2019 but has comfortably outpaced Mercedes and Red Bull in Belgium, where its car is suited to the long straights in the first and third sectors.

Leclerc said it was "amazing" to be 0.7s clear of Vettel in qualifying, but is wary Ferrari could face a sterner challenge from Mercedes in the race.

"We have been quick since FP1 but once we did the race simulations in FP2 we weren't as quick," said Leclerc.

"I think it's not going to be easy. The gap is quite big [in qualifying] but it doesn't mean it will be like that [in the race], so we will working hard to improve on the race run we did and we will see."

shares
comments
Hamilton: No point worrying about engine failures

Previous article

Hamilton: No point worrying about engine failures

Next article

Verstappen: Engine mode issues won't have big impact

Verstappen: Engine mode issues won't have big impact
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021