I have to do like Sebastian in 2013, admits Leclerc


Having fallen 80 points behind title rival Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc admits he faces a monumental task in the remaining nine races... but insists he's up for the challenge.

Melbourne must seem a lifetime ago for the youngster, who left Australia with a 46 point lead over his Dutch rival. However, a series calamities including poor reliability, strategic c*ck-ups and his own errors have left the Monegasque falling into the clutches of Sergio Perez and the Mercedes pair.

Clearly refreshed from the summer break, Leclerc is aware of the challenge he faces, but takes heart from another driver who overcame similar odds.

"I have to do like Sebastian Vettel in 2013, when he won every race after the summer break," he told reporters. "Maybe it's easier said than done but I'll do my best."

Indeed, Vettel went into the summer break 39 points adrift of rival Fernando Alonso, but wins in all nine remaining races saw the German claim the title with a 155 point advantage.

Asked if the summer break was a distraction or an opportunity for a re-set, Leclerc was in no doubt.

I needed it," he admitted. "The first half of the season has been full of highs and lows, so loads of emotions. There’s lots of accumulation of emotions, which leads to being tired.

"So, I was quite happy to go on holidays and I used these three weeks as best as possible with my family and friends. It was just great."

"We will take it one by one, as a team," he said of the remaining races. "But for sure we have to maximise every opportunity that we have ahead, and I still believe in the championship. Of course, it’s going to be a very difficult challenge. But I will believe in it until the very end."

Like many on the grid this weekend, Spa has a special place in his heart, however the youngster admits that in his case it is because his first F1 win came here on the same weekend his good friend Anthoine Hubert perished.

"It is a very special track for me, for each driver the first victory is special," he said. "I got it here under strange conditions due to Anthoine's death.

"It's a track I've always enjoyed driving on, I hope to get a great result this weekend."

Check out our Friday gallery from Spa here.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 26/08/2022
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.