Leclerc Counters Schumacher’s Fierce Criticism of Ferrari

Published 05/21/2021, 11:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Charles Leclerc has seen the best of days, and the worst of days at Ferrari. While he was fighting for poles and race wins in his debut season with Ferrari in 2019, 2020 was the exact opposite.


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The team achieved a poor sixth-place finish, their worst ever result since 1980. However, they have put a terrible 2020 behind them, and look much stronger this season. Although they aren’t fighting for the title, a battle for third with McLaren is a significant improvement from last season.

However, their current situation has drawn criticism from former Williams driver, Ralf Schumacher. The German recently said, “If we have to praise the fact that Ferrari can be the third best, then that underscores how deep the Italians have fallen.”


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Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Leclerc responded to criticism from Schumacher.

Charles Leclerc does not agree with Ralf’s comment

With many teams more focused on 2022 rather than 2021, few people expected Ferrari to be much better than last season. However, the Italians have improved massively, giving a tough fight to McLaren for third place this season.

Leclerc responded to Schumacher’s comment, saying that he disagrees with the German. He also highlighted his happiness with Ferrari’s progress.

The Monegasque said, “I do not agree with the words he has used. We are working very very hard. Last year has been a very difficult season for us and from then on we have been working very, very well.

“I can see it, I can feel the progress in the car and I am happy with the progress we are making.”


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Leclerc: We will be back to fight for wins

Although they have made progress, Leclerc made it clear that he isn’t happy with the positions they are fighting for. However, he believes in the project at Ferrari, and claims they will be back to fighting for race wins soon.

The 23-year-old said, “I am not happy yet with where we are fighting for and I am sure that nobody in the team is happy where we are fighting for.


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SPA, BELGIUM: Pole position qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)

“It is not easy but as I said, I am happy with the way we are working at the moment and I believe in the project and I am sure we will soon be back fighting for the lead positions we want which is to fight for wins.”

If Thursday was any sign of things to come, Ferrari put out a strong statement in Monaco. With Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rounding off a Ferrari 1-2 in the second practice session, Ferrari threw down the gauntlet for other teams ahead of qualifying on Saturday. In fact, they were the only drivers to put a lap time under 71 seconds across both practice sessions.


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Are the Italians genuine contenders for winning a race after two years this Sunday?


Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.