Charles Leclerc has been quite the revelation for Scuderia Ferrari this year. The Monegasque has pretty much single-handedly powered Ferrari to sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship standings, contributing 85 of the team’s 103 points.
The difference in performance between Leclerc and his teammate has been vast. So much so that Sebastian Vettel himself admitted that Leclerc is in a different league at the moment.
While his race craft has been apparent, a lot of his success could also be put down to his mentality.
Giving a glimpse into his mental side of the game, Leclerc said.
“I’ve never had fear. I still have absolutely no fear when I’m in the car. The day I start to feel fear is the day I stop racing. I won’t be able to perform at my best if I have fear in the car.”
The same, perhaps, cannot be said for Vettel. The German has clearly struggled to adjust to the SF1000 and seems to have lost all confidence in the car. This is evidenced not only by his poor results but also by his several spins this season.
Another reason could be that Vettel’s mind is already focused on the future, on his future with Aston Martin. Whereas Leclerc, on the other hand, is going to be with Ferrari for the next 5 years.
As such, the Monegasque added, “I’m just trying to analyse after every session what I did wrong and what I need to improve to get better in the session right after, but fear is never in play.”
Having won two races and a total of 10 podiums in an incredible debut season with Ferrari in 2019, Leclerc isn’t content. As such, the 23-year-old spoke about what he has improved on this year.
He said, “I think I did a significant step. I changed my approach quite a lot compared to last year.
“Last year, I was taking it very easy in FP1, FP2, and FP3 to then going all in qualifying.
“This year, I just go all in from FP1 all the way to the race, so every lap I do, I try to be at the absolute limit and I take risks all the time.”
As a result of his hard work, Leclerc finds himself in fifth place on the Drivers’ Championship table despite having a lackluster car. He would dearly love to end the season in fourth place, as the best of the rest.