Charles Leclerc does not seek excuses. Regarding the mistake made on the first lap of the Styrian Grand Prix, he takes responsibility for it, even when it is pointed out to him that at the wheel of the current Formula 1 cars the visibility is not the best.
Leclerc was pleasantly surprised by the pace confirmed last Sunday by the SF21, but underlines a non-negligible aspect, namely the need to identify precisely what the change of pace entailed.
Charles did not enter into the merits of this weekend’s objectives, but confirmed that he had tried the first virtual model of the 2022 single-seater on the Ferrari simulator, immediately receiving a feeling of great change.
Then there is a closer future, and that of the Sprint Qualifying which will debut in the next stage of Silverstone, a weekend that Charles eagerly awaits to check the new race format on the field.
What could you have been aiming for last Sunday without the contact on the first lap?
“I don’t know, I don’t particularly like answering these kinds of questions. We could have done much better, a contact on the first lap inevitably makes the race uphill, but overall it was a good race, a generally positive weekend given the very strong pace we confirmed in the race, a pace that allowed us to reassemble. I also enjoyed making up positions, but without the accident on the first lap I think things would have been better, that’s for sure ”.
Is there a visibility problem on these cars? Can you see the front wing or does it go to sensation?
“Visibility isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t have to be an excuse. We are Formula 1 drivers, we drive these cars, so we should know more or less how long the car is. The visibility is not the best but it certainly does not justify what happened ”.
After the feedback from the Paul Ricard race, how much relief was it to get back to a constant race pace? Was it a surprise?
“A great job has been done between Paul Ricard and Austria, but I don’t think we would have expected such a fast pace. It was undoubtedly the result of teamwork completed after France, but we don’t even have to get carried away. “
“At Castellet we had a bad surprise, while last Sunday a very good one, but we have to understand how this result came about. There are some things that we think may have contributed to this improvement, but we don’t understand the whole picture. The goal is confirm the performance continuously throughout the year, and we must try to understand why we were able to do it on Sunday ”.
Are you giving directions to the team on the 2022 project?
“At the moment it’s difficult, because for now it’s just numbers and forecasts, but we can give our feedback to the simulator, and in Ferrari we have an excellent one that allows us to try different things. As a driver I can give some indications, and this is a very, very important aspect, but it is that even soon to say something, together with Carlos we try to identify the critical issues of the current car with the aim of solving these problems on what we will have it available next year, even if in this case it is a very different car from the 2021 one ”.
Did you drive a first version of the 2022 single-seater on the simulator?
“Yes, but I repeat, we are only at the beginning. The first impressions are that we are facing a very big change, and I believe that all the teams at this moment have a question mark about the direction of the project development ”.
In the next round of the World Championship, the weekend will debut with the Sprint Qualifying. How do you see this change in format?
“I am enthusiastic. It is an important change, but as I have already said, it must not overshadow the real race, which will always be the one scheduled for Sunday. For my part, I can’t wait to try this new format, I think a field check is an opportunity to evaluate the idea in the best way, then we can judge if it is really an improvement or not. But I am excited to try it, we will have a second start which is obviously an opportunity for us to gain positions but also a risk of losing them. Let’s hope the first … “.
Ross Brawn stated that the best drivers fighting in the central area of the standings should have more patience, also hinting at your contact with Gasly last Sunday. Do you agree with this view, or do you consider them episodes that are nothing extraordinary?
“We certainly think about it, trying to figure out if I could have done something to avoid it, but it’s too late now. As far as I’m concerned, I love wheel-to-wheel racing, even if in the case of last Sunday it was… a bit too much, but I talked to Pierre and clarified everything ”.
Did you write to Arrivabene after the announcement that confirmed him in the role of CEO of Juventus?
“I sent him a message to congratulate, I’m happy for him. But I didn’t ask for tickets… ”.