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Leclerc's Path From Self-Doubt to Triumph

Leclerc: Driven by Victory, Hardened by Criticism

02/06/2024

Charles Leclerc unveils his relentless pursuit of victory in F1, revealing the self-criticism that drives his success and the challenges of dealing with social media criticism.

Leclerc has disclosed that the thrill of victory is what he cherishes most in Formula 1. According to the Ferrari driver, the feeling of having managed a race better and performed more admirably than his rivals is the most exhilarating, alongside being part of the team that has excelled.

“The fact of being number one,” Leclerc stated on the On Purpose podcast. “The feeling of victory. I’ve won a few races in Formula 1, and the sensation you experience once you’ve won is incredible.”

“Because you know you’ve done your best on the track, but it depends on so many other people doing what is required. It’s an amazing joy, not just for you but for more than 1,500 people working at the Maranello factory for the Formula 1 programme.”

“It’s crazy; so many people are involved, and every time you succeed as a team, it’s an incredible feeling. The victory, the taste of victory, is what motivates me.”

“Every morning, I wake up thinking about it. Every day when it’s a bit harder to get up and train, I think about one day winning a world championship and the feeling that will give me. So yes, that’s what drives me.”

Leclerc turns self-criticism into his strength.

The Monegasque admits that he has sometimes been tough on himself in the past, and he still is. But according to him, this honesty with himself is crucial for managing his performance well.

“I’ve been extremely hard on myself, which I think is now a strength because I’m very honest with myself. I don’t like to be kind to myself when I make a mistake. I’m very tough and very honest with myself.”

“However, at the same time, I think the reaction is extremely important. The way you respond to the mistakes you’ve made in the car is what allows you to turn an error into something positive by learning from it.”

“When I was younger, I didn’t have the right reaction, I would put myself down so much that it harmed my self-confidence. Now, it’s very different, I know I’ve reached a certain level because I’ve worked hard, of course, but also because there’s an element of talent when you’re young.”

“It is very important to maintain high self-confidence during difficult times, otherwise, you can lose the direction you need to work in, and that can make things a bit more complicated. That’s where I struggled when I was younger.”

Difficult to accept criticism from fans

On the other hand, he explains that criticism on social media is a dark side of his profession, and he has sometimes struggled to read negative things about himself: “Those that don’t define me as a person.”

“I think in the world we live in today, with social media, everyone can give their opinion very easily. And also people who don’t know you personally.”

“I remember two or three years ago, someone said, ‘Look how arrogant he is.’ These are criticisms that really hurt me because I know I’m not like that. And it’s hard to accept them when you’re not really like that, and I remember it hurt me personally.”

He was even more frustrated when the criticism concerned his driving: “It hurt me, especially during my first year in Formula 1, because you go from being a Formula 2 driver where there are no media and nobody talks about you. You make a mistake, and only your mother or father tells you, ‘OK, Charles, you made a mistake, that’s not good.'”

“When you get to Formula 1, you’re in the spotlight. You make a mistake, and hundreds or thousands of people talk about it on social media. It takes a bit of time to get used to.”

“I remember that during my first year in Formula 1, I monitored absolutely everything people were saying about me because it was new to me. Then, you learn to make sure you only care about what the people you love the most think about you. And that’s the only thing that matters to me.”

Leclerc's Path From Self-Doubt to Triumph

Leclerc’s Path: From Self-Doubt to Triumph. Leclerc’s Path: From Self-Doubt to Triumph

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