Charles Leclerc: ‘No driver can make that difference’

Charles Leclerc crashed out of the lead at the 2022 French Grand Prix, completely through his own fault.

2022 was by far Charles Leclerc’s best season with Ferrari, even if the Monegasque’s year was ridiculed somewhat by errors made by the team.

After storming onto the Ferrari scene in 2019 following his move from Sauber, the 24-year-old endured two extremely challenging seasons.

2020 and 2021 were woeful for Ferrari, who had an underperforming car and supposedly the slowest power unit on the grid.

As a result, Ferrari dropped well into the midfield, a feeling Leclerc understandably didn’t enjoy after tasting success in his maiden season for the Scuderia.

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Thankfully for him and the Maranello-based team, the Italians have returned to the front in 2022, with the side having worked wonders with the new aerodynamic regulations.

Whilst things do need to be worked on for 2023, Ferrari have given themselves a strong foundation to build from.

It has been a rollercoaster four years for Leclerc; however, he revealed that he never lost faith in the famous side returning to where they belong.

“That’s what I’ve always done,” he told Auto Motor und Sport

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“It was just hard to predict that 2022 would be the year we would come back. But I had great confidence. Because I saw behind the scenes in 2021 how much work the team put into the upcoming car.

“That gave me hope that we were taking a big step. But you can never be sure until you actually achieve it.”

Whilst he maintained faith that things would improve, he struggled with how long it took.

The Monegasque went from being a regular podium challenger to a lucky top five finisher, before returning to the front this season.

Having faith seemingly came easy for Ferrari’s star; however, he does admit that remaining patient was “harder” and that ultimately led to driver errors.

“That was harder for me,” he admitted.

“I’m impatient,” Leclerc added.

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“Talking about racing and winning: That’s my life. I draw my motivation from victories.

“In 2019, I tasted it. That was an incredible feeling. 2020 and 2021 felt like a return trip to the first year of Formula 1. It certainly wasn’t easy. It probably drove me more into mistakes.

“You try to make the difference as a driver. You’re talking about a second: no driver can make that difference. That drives you into things that are probably not realistic. It has helped me grow as a driver and be more patient. But I hope I never have to be that patient again in my career.”