Leclerc optimistic about Ferrari progress but warns about getting ‘carried away’

Charles Leclerc believes he can continue to close the gap to Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship if Ferrari can get more performance out of its latest upgrades.

Ferrari introduced a new package at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix and Leclerc finished third, before following up with a pole position and race victory in Monaco. That win was Leclerc’s first in nearly two years, but he says the signs were there earlier this season and he feels there is more to come from the Imola update that can help him to further reduce Verstappen’s 31-point advantage.

“I feel that the turning point of the season has been a few races ago already,” Leclerc said. “We didn’t have quite the car to win a race in the last few races. However, we did [in Monaco], and I knew that the opportunity had to be taken, and I did. So on that, we did a really good job.


“I’ve had two qualifyings where I struggled at the beginning of the season, but from then on, I worked on my qualifying pace and since then, I’m extremely happy with the job we are doing. So, really happy with how it goes, and I hope that this will bring us to many more wins.

“We shouldn’t get carried away, obviously Monaco is such a specific track and I think we had a really good car. It doesn’t mean that it will stay like that until the end of the year, but looking back at the first few races of the season, I think we did a great job maximizing all the races that we have done, and we’ll keep it going.

“31 [points] is OK. But I don’t think about the championship for now anyway, and it’s still too early on in the season. I think the upgrades that we have brought in Imola, we have still to see how well they work and where it will bring us. And then it’s all about maximizing all weekends, and then hopefully, little by little, we’ll get there.”

The win in Monaco was Ferrari’s second of the season and continues the team’s progression under Fred Vasseur, with Leclerc saying the team principal gives the whole team clarity on what it needs to target.

“I have no doubts,” Leclerc said. “I think since the first day he joined he’s got everything to bring the team back to where it belongs and that means to a world championship. He’s got such a clear vision of what he wants to achieve and how to achieve it. He doesn’t lose time and that is definitely his strength and I think his vision is really good.

“We share it very often, on how he wants to achieve those targets. I’ve always been completely aligned with the way he wants to change things to get to where we want to get. I have no doubt that he’s the right person and that he’s helping the team to get there.”

Story originally appeared on Racer