“I Need to Put Everything Together”: Charles Leclerc Gets Self-Critical After Colossal Effort to Fetch 12 Points

“I Need to Put Everything Together”: Charles Leclerc Gets Self-Critical After Colossal Effort to Fetch 12 Points
Credits: Imago

Charles Leclerc put in a brilliant recovery drive on Sunday in Japan following a poor qualifying session. The Monegasque driver started the race in P8 and improved to a P4 finish, thanks to some brilliant tire management. Despite the recovery, Leclerc remained critical of his overall performance on the weekend. Quoted by PitDebrief, Leclerc detailed what was lacking from his weekend in the last two races and what he could do to improve his overall performance.

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Race pace hasn’t been an issue for the Ferrari cars this season. However, the last two races have seen Leclerc struggle in qualifying, which is his strong suit. Leclerc believes it has to do with him not putting his tires in the “right window” in the lap right before his timed one. Should he be able to achieve that, the pace will come back instantly. With his race pace and strategy on point, Leclerc is firm that better qualifying is his major focus. Once he achieves that, all that needs doing will be to put all of it together.

“Now I need to put everything together on the Saturday. And then I’m sure we’ll have many more happy weekends.”

Ahead of the race in Suzuka Leclerc knew he needed to hustle to ensure a good race result. Given the same, he opted for a one-stop strategy, which called for some excellent tire management skills in the 53-lap race. The challenge did not scare Leclerc, who was able to move past both McLarens, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to take up P4. There is, however, still a gap between Ferrari and Red Bull’s pace. It was on display in Suzuka as P2 finisher Sergio Perez was able to build an 8-second lead over third placed Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc banking on Ferrari closing Red Bull gap

After a strong end to the 2023 season, Ferrari‘s primary aim in 2024 is to close the gap to Red Bull. While the Austrian team was by far the most dominant team on the grid last year, Ferrari hopes to change that. Australia was a prime example of the improved Ferrari car, as Perez had a hard time keeping up with the race leaders. Leclerc, too, is hopeful of improved pace from the Ferrari car, which will further his chances of winning races this season.

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To improve their pace, Ferrari will need to bring some upgrade packages to their car. Understanding the need well enough, Fred Vasseur and Co. plan on bringing the first major upgrade to their car at the Emilia Romagna GP in Italy. Certain reports claimed that Ferrari might prepone their upgrade, given the race win by Sainz. However, Vasseur refuted all such claims, asserting Ferrari will stick to their schedule.

A massive upgrade package could be key for Ferrari in taking the challenge to Red Bull. The Maranello-based team stands as the only team to beat Red Bull in 2023 and 2024, but they haven’t yet become title challengers. With an upgrade package, the Italian outfit might be able to vie for race wins consistently.

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