Formula-1-Rookie Charles Leclerc comes home with a lot of confidence and talks about his expectations in Monaco. Does the Youngster make his third score in the series?
Charles Leclerc mauled himself in the last two races from the seemingly new to the solid point driver. In Azerbaijan and Spain, he put his cleanliness in places six and ten.
And now, with the Grand Prix of Monaco, his home race is on the way. Will the 20-year-old’s knot finally burst in his birthplace?
This is my childhood dream”, Leclerc radiates in front of the race weekend towards”Motorsport-Total.com”. I was born in Monaco and have always watched the Grand Prix.”
By the proximity to the race track one should think that Leclerc knows the city course particularly well. However, he did not finish his first race until the previous year in Formula 2 and did not finish it twice.
His home advantage is therefore small.” It is, of course, easier than in Australia, where I first had to learn the route. But nevertheless the advantage is very small compared to the others.”
He knows the 3337 kilometer long course rather from his school time:”I know the route very well from the ride with the school bus or from walks with friends, but in the racing car I first drove here. When you drive with 300 km/h so close to the ground, the curves suddenly look completely different,”he is fascinated. In formula 2, I learned the route. I knew where to point and where the good restaurants are, but that doesn’t help you in the performance.”
Leclerc about favorite places in Monaco:”Depends on the driver”
The premiere in Formula One Bolide will therefore be very special. Leclerc sets out for a “crazy” weekend. I’ve always dreamed of going with you. I am sure it will be a great feeling.”
In addition, Leclerc especially likes to go on city courses. Already in Baku he was able to deliver a good result with his first score.” On a city course, one can always make a small difference,”the newcomer is convinced.
Especially the swimming pool section and the food have done it to the Monegassen. Both are very fast passage and technically demanding. In the second S, the walls are very close to the line. This is a great challenge for the drivers, which I prefer.”
Can Leclerc already enter his third score in his sixth Grand Prix? Last time, Felipe Nasr 2015 scored points for clean in Monte Carlo. The house skirts in the principality are driven with maximum drift, actually a weakness of cleanliness.
“However, we did not expect to see the top 15 in qualifying in Barcelona either,” Leclerc confidently said. In particular, time training will decide whether to win or lose in Monaco. His best starting point so far, position 13, he was able to enter Baku.“
Leclerc reports on great expectations
With set-up changes in Barcelona, the 20-year-old felt much more comfortable in the C37 than at the beginning of the season, when he suffered significantly more errors. His expectations have so far been more than met in his debut season.
He draws the comparison with formula 2: “In formula 2, performance depends on your performance. In formula 1, it is a combination of many things. You have to get used to it first. After five races, this seems to have already worked out for Leclerc.
He has to admit that the first two races in Australia and Bahrain were particularly difficult.” I knew it would be difficult. Some people expected a lot from me because I am Formula Two Champion, yet I remained realistic and honest with myself.”
Many processes he had to learn first.” That the set-up can be changed from one curve to another. This brings a lot of performance and I did not master it well enough,”he goes into detail. It was only through experience and a lot of time on the track that he learned this. Now I am satisfied with my results in the last two races. The learning curve shows steeply upwards, I am happy.”
Pirelli’s tyres also had to get to know the rookie first. Although Formula 2 also uses pneumatic tyres from the Italian forge, the step to the royal class on the black rollers is a big one.
“I try to get used to this new environment as quickly as possible. The tires are part of it. I learned a lot the first two weekends. So far I can handle the tires well”, Monegasse is happy.
Surer: Even the tires had problems with the tires
Expert Marc Surer knows:”formula 1 is now really a science. How to treat the tyres, how to get the maximum out of the tyres in qualifying, and so on. Sometimes even the top riders can’t do that.”A novice is quickly overwhelmed.
In order to be regularly fast, you have to understand everything. And that is insanely difficult,”said the Swiss. Even Max Verstappen has “screwed up” many qualifications, since he did not put the tires in the temperature window, Surer draws a comparison. This shows: Even such a great talent has difficulties with the complexity of formula 1.”
Surer remembers its active time when it was still driven with special qualifying tires. In time training, the bolts were then two and a half seconds faster than in the training. When Piquet was my teammate, unlike me, he made that jump right away. I only made half of it.”
Even today the comparison with the teammate is used as the first reference. Marcus Ericsson already scored in Bahrain, yet Leclerc increasingly stole the show.
“One is of course always compared to his teammate. This was the case in the first two races where he was faster. But it already feels good to be faster than your teammate,”the young junior pilot has to admit. In the qualifying duel at Sauber it currently stands 3:2 for Leclerc.
Leclerc’s goal with clean: place eight in the team-WM
He has corrected his expectations if the season starts well upwards. For Leclerc, Clean has once again arrived in the middle field of formula 1. I do not think we are generally far from points. I didn’t expect the result. After Monaco, I will tell you if our expectations were wrong again,”he smiles.
He has already set out his great goal for the premiere season. The ninth World Cup would be incredible after two hard years for clean. We have already taken a step forward this year. If we keep trying and fighting, even the eighth place could be in, that would be a strong achievement.”
Collects Leclerc in Monaco further diligently points, Clean Toro Rosso could displace from place eight – two points would suffice.