Leclerc had to ditch GP3/F2 style for F1 breakthrough

Charles Leclerc believes moving his Sauber Formula 1 car’s set-up away from his preferred driving style has helped him make an important breakthrough.

Leclerc had to ditch GP3/F2 style for F1 breakthrough
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 Ferrari
Charles Leclerc, Sauber, on the grid
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37 on the grid
Charles Leclerc, Sauber on the grid on the grid
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37

The reigning Formula 2 champion had a tricky start to his rookie F1 season, making a number of errors, but was one of the stars in Azerbaijan last weekend.

Leclerc made it into the second part of qualifying for the first time and then scored his first F1 points on Sunday after rising from 13th on the grid to sixth in a frenzied grand prix.

He won back-to-back titles in GP3 and F2 but said carrying over his driving style had not worked early on with Sauber's C37.

“GP3 and Formula 2 cars you drive with a lot of oversteer and this is the way to go fast," he said.

“I did not expect to go quicker when going towards an understeer set-up in F1, but this seems the way these cars work.

“I just need to get on with it.”

Leclerc explained that he had moved closer to teammate Marcus Ericsson's set-up after “I made quite a lot of mistakes in the first three races”.

He said: “I improved a lot because of the approach we had with the set-up.

“We went to a more understeering car for me. My car was way too unpredictable and was very difficult to put everything together.

“We targeted a more understeering balance and it has been night and day [different] for me.”

The 20-year-old is the first Monegasque to score a point in F1 since Louis Chiron finished third in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix.

He said it was very important for his “personal confidence” to secure a big result early in his career.

“It's good to have one good one where we put everything together,” said Leclerc.

“Obviously we have been helped by the circumstances but we took our opportunity here and this is great.”

 

shares
comments
Miami reveals proposed F1 circuit layout

Previous article

Miami reveals proposed F1 circuit layout

Next article

How F1’s on-loan star is handling a crunch season

How F1’s on-loan star is handling a crunch season
Load comments
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku Prime

The changes behind a 'feel-good' F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021