Charles Leclerc says he learns from his own experiences than watch others fight out like the F1 2021 fight, as he added that he knows where he has to improve.
Going into the third round of the season, Ferrari have been the team to watch so far and are top of the tree in both Championships. It’s good and refreshing for F1 to have another challenger for 2022 and for Ferrari themselves to be back at the sharp end.
Even though we are less than 10% through the championship, the stage is set for what already looks like being a great battle between Leclerc and the reigning champion Max Verstappen, who triumphed last season after a ferocious battle with Lewis Hamilton.
The Brit himself has has a well documented quiet start to 2022 but for now the battle is between the winners at Bahrain and Jeddah. Leclerc has now very much become his own man in 2022 after five years in the sport. But in light of last seasons title fight, did he learn anything from the 2021 battle?
Not withstanding that both he and Verstappen have been battling from their youth and their karting experiences so he knows Verstappen’s race-craft and style and vice versa. “I didn’t watch that much all of these battles between Max and Lewis,” said Leclerc to written media. “Some of the races I’ve watched but I don’t watch all of these battles”.
“I think I learn more from my own experiences. Every driver has their own driving style. I have my own one I think in a wheel to wheel battle and I am quite strong. You always try to be better and as for Max, I know him quite well since karting already. We have had some great battles. We have grown up together which I think has helped in each way so I learnt more from my own experiences,” summed up Leclerc.
Indeed, it may be true to say that Leclerc has well and truly grown up now. He has become his own independent person with his own style of driving, he is vastly experienced in the sport and despite having raced Verstappen from a young age, he has learnt a lot from those battles and thus it has shaped him for the driver that he has become this season.
It is interesting and perhaps intriguing that he did not express that much interest in the title struggle of 2021. The bottom being purely and simply showing the driver that he has become and concentrating on his own issues and trying to shape his own career. As a result, and coupled with the work Ferrari did last year, it appears to be bearing fruition.
“I am quite happy about this start to the season for sure,” said Leclerc. “I am working well with the team and the preparation for the first race was very good, so I feel good in general but there is definitely more to come. The thing I am happy about is not really the performance but I know exactly where I still need to work and what I need to improve to unlock my performance so that I am happy then, but whether it will be enough to win the world championship I have no idea”.
“It is still very early on in the season but let’s say it’s a very good start to the season. We as drivers need to help the team in every way possible to keep this competitiveness,” summed up Leclerc. Ferrari are back on both fronts and it’s refreshing for all to see.
Like Leclerc as a driver and them as a team, they just need to concentrate on their own business for the season ahead. Of course, it is not just about the as there are others but if Leclerc and the Maranello concern concentrate on their A game, double title is not far away.
Here’s Charles Leclerc and others on DRS
Here’s F1 drivers on Drive to Survive
Here’s Mattia Binotto on where Ferrari is
Here’s Carlos Sainz on understanding where he is lacking
Here’s how Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc described Saudi battle