Last week’s standout performance from Sauber’s Charles Leclerc was not only a welcome sight for his team, Sauber, but also for his supporting team, Ferrari. It was also a welcome result for Charles himself as well as the fans who were expecting the young Monegasque to hit the ground running as the Formula 2 champion he is.
The first three races of the season have been a challenge for Leclerc and some were wondering what the issue might be given his outstanding performance in junior series. Some fans were expecting Leclerc to have the measure of his teammate, Marcus Ericsson, straight away but that hadn’t happened.
An article today may just explain what the challenges have been and it is an interesting insight into the driver’s world on how each series and car requires a different approach to find speed. We’ve seen how F1 drivers have had to adapt their driving style each year to the new car and that’s certainly what Charles is facing with regards to how he managed his F2 car versus how he has to approach his F1 ride.
“You drive GP3 and Formula 2 cars with a lot of oversteer and this is the way to go fast,” Leclerc said.
“I did not expect to go quicker when going towards an understeer set-up in F1, but this seems the way these cars work.
“I just need to get on with it.” Leclerc explained that he had moved closer to team-mate Marcus Ericsson’s set-up after “I made quite a lot of mistakes in the first three races”.
“I improved a lot because of the approach we had with the set-up.
“We went to a more understeering car for me. My car was way too unpredictable and was very difficult to put everything together.
“We targeted a more understeering balance and it has been night and day [different] for me.”
A good example of just how complicated it can be moving from the junior series to F1 but the challenge spans across a lot of forms of motorsport and to be honest, even between each chassis year-on-year. We’ve spoken before about the ability of F1 drivers to completely change their style and it is still just as impressive as Leclerc’s results last Sunday show.
Hat Tip: Autosport