Leclerc found first F1 races 'very long'

  • 25 Jan 2019 11:09
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc admits that he found his maiden Formula 1 races to be very long after growing accustomed to the feature and sprint race formats of GP3 and Formula 2.

Leclerc joined the F1 grid in 2018, coming off the back of winning the titles of the aforementioned supporting junior series'. The Monegasque driver struggled at the opening handful of Grands Prix, before he found his feet and began to score points consistently.

The 21-year-old says that he found the races to be very long initially, and added that there is much more fuel saving in F1. However, he doesn't believe there are many other big differences beyond that.

"It is quite different in terms of tyre management I think it’s a lot more extreme in Formula 2 than in Formula 1, actually,” said Leclerc. “In terms of fuel management obviously we don’t have any in Formula 2, we do have in Formula 1 so it’s a bit different.

“But I remember finding the first races extremely long in Formula 1 compared to Formula 2. So this is something also that he needs to get used to because after 20 laps you think that the finish is two laps away and then they tell you ‘OK, 40 laps to go’. That’s quite long! Apart from that it’s just a bit different but not such a huge difference.”

Leclerc received a promotion to Ferrari for 2019, and will see some of his former rivals join the grid. Former GP3 title opponent Alexander Albon will drive for Toro Rosso, while George Russell, who emulated Leclerc's success of back-to-back GP3/Formula 2 titles, will race with Williams.

"I think he is a very strong driver,” Leclerc said about Russell. “Obviously I don’t know whether he will struggle as much as I did in the first three races or not. I don’t have much tips to give him, for sure he will find his way along to the top.

“In the first three races we were not so competitive so after 20 laps, we were alone in 19th position and then it gets quite boring because you are just waiting for the end of the race. So maybe this played a part in thinking that the race was too long. But after that it was actually more interesting."

Replies (2)

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  • I think F1 have too much fuel management as of present, and I hope that will get toned down in 2019 and onward. It should be a factor, but it shouldnt be so prevalent that it is today. Even if there wasnt all that much talk about it during 2018, it was still there for sure. I also think we kinda have the wrong kind of tyre management as of present, if it makes sense. I think removing the blankets might eliminate that to some extent, but I think Pirelli need to rethink the way they develop the tyres entirely for the tyre management to be something that is compelling for both drivers and viewers.

    As for Leclerc: I really looking forward to seeing him up against Vettel. Im calling it, if he goes in, year two, and is ever close to Vettel in points scores, he is my new favourite driver in current F1.

    • + 1
    • Jan 25 2019 - 18:09
  • Too much fuel and tyre management, I mean c'mon. When drivers are told on LAP TWO to manage their tyres, it shows what a joke F1 is right now.

    • + 0
    • Jan 26 2019 - 12:24

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