In Jeddah, Charles Leclerc assured that Ferrari’s victory at the Formula 1 season opener in Bahrain would not change his mindset ahead of round two this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
Leclerc beat Max Verstappen and repelled several attacks from the reigning world champion to claim victory, marking his and Ferrari’s first victory since 2019. But there is no question for the Monegasque to approach this weekend with the status of favorite in the head.
“It feels good, because we had a great weekend, but on the other hand, I just want to try to keep the same approach that we took after testing. And Ferrari as a whole wants the same approach. .”
“We got to the first race and there were a lot of expectations after testing went well, but we tried to just focus on ourselves and do the best job we can. It’s the same approach that I want to adopt here.”
“It’s another track, a completely different track with different characteristics and we have to see our competitiveness here as well.”
“It’s so close with Red Bull that it could change from track to track, so we have to stay focused and have an open mind from Free 1 and 2 to try to have the best setup for this weekend. -end.”
Moreover, Leclerc is not far from replacing Red Bull as a favorite.
“Seeing what Red Bull showed on the straights in Bahrain, they could be even stronger on tracks like this in Jeddah. As soon as they solve the little problems they had in Bahrain, they will be the greatest threat.”
Leclerc battled with Verstappen over three successive rounds in Bahrain before finally winning, and added that he is relishing the prospect of a season-long battle with his former karting rival.
“It’s clear now for all the drivers how we have to race. No way to relive Austria 2019, where I got a little angry about that race because it wasn’t entirely clear what we were allowed to do. But now it’s clear what we can do, guidelines have been set and that’s exactly what we want as drivers.”
“I want races with tough battles, the way we raced in Bahrain was nice and I’m looking forward to fighting all year. That would be a good sign! Can’t tell if that will be the case or not, because the development will be very important this year and we have to be on top.”
“If we are, and we are as close as we were in Bahrain for the rest of the season, it will be great at all races.”