Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
09 May
Next event in
61 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
100 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
117 days
18 Jul
Race in
135 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
208 days
10 Oct
Race in
219 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
233 days
31 Oct
Race in
240 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
261 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
275 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Leclerc feels Vettel still stronger in race trim

Charles Leclerc says he has 'quite a bit of work to do' to improve his performance in races this year, as he feels it is an area where teammate Sebastian Vettel is still stronger.

After an impressive first campaign for Ferrari in 2019, Leclerc is determined to do an even better job this year to become a regular contender for wins and even the title.

Having made notable progress in lifting his qualifying potential over the course of last season, he says the key area for now is doing better on Sundays.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com in a podcast about where he had made the biggest gains and what next he needed to focus on, Leclerc said: "After the first three four races, I've seen that my weakness was more the qualifying than the race.

"So I focused quite a lot on the qualifying and did quite a big step from France onwards in qualifying, which was good to see.

"And then in the race I think I've still got quite a bit of work to do. Seb has a big experience in the race and he's stronger than me at the moment. So my work this winter is mostly on the race, to try and improve that."

Read Also:

Leclerc thinks it essential too that both he and Ferrari cut out the kind of mistakes that cost them several victories last year – especially in the early stages of the season.

"I hope, or at least I'm working extremely hard, to do less mistakes than I've done in 2019," he said about prospects for the year ahead. "I think as a team, we also need to focus on that.

"In terms of performance it is always very, very difficult to know before the first race. Actually I was going to say winter testing, but actually in 2019 winter testing went a lot better than the first race. So we will wait for the first race.

"But we've been working well, and then to see the performance we'll see a bit later on. But I feel definitely more ready than at the beginning of 2019. And I hope I'll be able to prove it on track."

The battle between Leclerc and Vettel will be a fascinating one this year after their rivalry boiled over at times in 2019 – most famously when they crashed into each other at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But while Leclerc accepts there are times when the pair do not see eye-to-eye, he is clear that their relationship off track is much better than it appears.

"I think we are mature enough to understand that whatever happens on track, obviously we are two competitors," he said. "We both want to win and it would be wrong if it will be the other way around.

"So yeah, we want to win. We are extremely competitive and sometimes on track we might have some frictions, but at the end, we are mature enough to know that what's happened on track is on track and off track, we are different persons.

"I think the most important [thing] is that we work well together, especially off track to try and develop the car in the best way possible. And, of course, not exceed the limits whenever we are on track, like we've seen in Brazil. But I think it was a good lesson for both of us and it won't happen again."

For the full interview with Charles Leclerc, listen to the latest Autosport Podcast

shares
comments
Denmark's first F1 driver Tom Belso dies

Previous article

Denmark's first F1 driver Tom Belso dies

Next article

What Bottas has learned from Hamilton

What Bottas has learned from Hamilton
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021