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It Was Just Me Leclerc's Candid Take on GP Setback

“It Was Just Me”: Leclerc’s Candid Take on GP Setback

04/04/2024

In a reflective moment, Charles Leclerc attributes his Australian GP performance to personal errors, spotlighting a weekend of introspection and resilience.

Entering the Melbourne weekend, the Ferrari driver had secured seven consecutive front-row starts and set the pace in both the second and third free practice sessions.

However, Leclerc faltered at a crucial moment, struggling with the balance of his SF-24 and qualifying fifth, with Sainz securing second place alongside pole sitter Max Verstappen.

Despite advancing to second place, Leclerc’s one-lap challenges hampered his race, forcing him to finish behind the sister car.

Meanwhile, Sainz leveraged Ferrari’s competitive pace and Verstappen’s retirement to build a lead that secured his victory.

Asked if he had identified reasons for his pace deficit to Sainz, Leclerc said: “I think in qualifying, it was very clear it was just me.”

“I had achieved very, very good qualifications before this. I think it was seven consecutive front rows, which is good. However, in Australia, I didn’t perform well on Saturday.”

“For Sunday, I’m less concerned. I think the second stint was a bit compromised by our race situation. We had to stop early due to Lando and Oscar early in the race.”

“And then the second stint was very long, so of course, it was a bit harder to manage that stint. But I think it was more due to what I had done wrong on Saturday. And there’s not much more to say than that at every qualification, you try to extract the best.”

“I tried something in Q3 that didn’t work out, and that’s how it is. I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”

Sainz remains the only driver to have won outside of Red Bull since the start of the previous season, with his Australian victory adding to his Singapore win in September.

While Leclerc acknowledges he needs to capitalize when such opportunities arise again, he asserts he is up for it.

Leclerc, who hasn’t won a race since the Austrian Grand Prix in 2022, had outqualified Sainz in each of the eight rounds where the teammates were competing for victories.

“To say I’m happy not to be there when we can win, of course not. Victories are important, points at the end of the season even more so. However, I want to win and I want to start winning again as soon as possible.”

“Carlos did an incredible job in the two opportunities we had to beat Red Bull, and now it’s up to me to respond and hope to win the next one. That’s the goal, I’m working hard for it.”

“In the end, I think in Formula 1, people tend to forget quickly and everything is based on the last race. But if I look at my last eight or nine races, I think they’ve been at a very good level.”

“However, in most of these races, the car couldn’t win. But it’s up to me to be there as soon as the opportunity arises.”

“And the fact is, I didn’t do it in Singapore and in the last race. But I will continue to push, of course.”

“However, the fact that Carlos is not with Ferrari next year doesn’t add any pressure or anything. My goal is always to try to win.”

“It Was Just Me”: Leclerc’s Candid Take on GP Setback. “It Was Just Me”: Leclerc’s Candid Take on GP Setback

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