On-form Leclerc promises more to come at Monaco

Charles Leclerc says there is more pace in his driving and that he didn’t put together clean laps despite setting the fastest time of Friday practice at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP1 but Leclerc then pulled clear of the field in the second session, posting a 1m11.278s that eclipsed last year’s pole time and left him nearly 0.2s clear of his future Ferrari teammate. That time came on the soft compound tire but Leclerc says he wasn’t happy with his performance during that run, and believes there is plenty of room for improvement.

“I think on the mediums we were really strong,” Leclerc said. “On the soft, we struggled to put everything together. There was a lot of traffic all the way, but all in all, we have a good car for the moment. I feel quite confident with the car. However, it’s super-important that we keep this rhythm into FP3 because it’s the way Monaco is.


“I might have taken more risk compared to the others today, which paid off. However, it’s all about tomorrow when everybody starts to go on the limit. Until now, we have done a really good job. We need to keep working, keep focusing on ourselves, but it’s a positive first day.

“There is more pace in me just putting everything together. If you look at my three sectors, there was a quite a bit of lap time in them when you put all of it together. So that will be the main focus for tomorrow, but let’s say that the performance and feeling is there.”

Although Red Bull is struggling, with Max Verstappen saying there is no obvious fix for the team as its car inherently doesn’t work on the Monaco circuit, Leclerc says he’s not taking anything for granted.

“I think we arrived here knowing that anything was possible,” he said. “In 2021, we didn’t have a good car but coming into Monaco the characteristics of our car were fitting that very particular track well and we were fast.

“This weekend we seem fast. Mercedes have been struggling since the beginning of the season but they are very fast this weekend, so we expect them to be just the same tomorrow. Lewis has been on it all day, so we have got to maximize everything tomorrow and hopefully we’ll put it on pole.

“I’ve had two [Monaco] poles in the past, but then the Sunday result was not the one I wanted. So if we manage to do so, which is the best starting place for Sunday, we’ll have to focus well on Sunday in order to put everything together and to finally get that win.”

Story originally appeared on Racer