Promoted: Charles Leclerc analyses his breakthrough year
All F1 drivers dream of making that breakthrough moment. Charles Leclerc truly had his breakthrough as a Ferrari driver when he took his first win for the team in Spa, then immediately backed it up with a historic victory at Monza on Ferrari’s home soil.
In his first season with Scuderia Ferrari, Charles Leclerc has proved himself every bit the exciting young superstar on the rise, with back-to-back wins in Spa and then in front of the Tifosi in Monza.
But a chance to celebrate from the top of the podium, an experience Charles himself calls ‘crazy’, does not come from nowhere.
“In the hard moments, it’s always very difficult, because you start to doubt yourself,” Leclerc tells Giselle Zarur Maccise in this new video shot in Mexico this week. “Every time you go back to winning, or to the good results, you take back the confidence in yourself and you feel a lot better.”
The young Monegasque driver played a careful game at the start of the season.
“At the beginning, I didn’t want to arrive at a big team like Ferrari and say: ‘OK, I want the car like this’. I just wanted to try and adapt to the car and then see if I wanted to make some changes,” Leclerc says, when asked if he felt a change to his driving style was partly responsible for his breakthrough results recently.
Part of being promoted to a team like Scuderia Ferrari is understanding the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the car in peak condition. It’s why the team’s long-running partnership with Shell is something always in the back of the drivers’ minds over a race weekend.
“Before arriving at Ferrari, I had no idea how important it is for a Formula 1 team to be successful, to have a successful relationship with their fuel & lubricants partner,” he said.
But it’s something Scuderia Ferrari’s exciting young talent will be paying close attention to in the future: “A big part of the performance we’ve gained from last year to this year is thanks to Shell,” he said – performance he was no doubt appreciative of when it helped him to achieve race wins in his first season with one of Formula 1’s most iconic teams.
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