[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] CHARLES LECLERC: FULFILLING HYPE

Swiss privateer squad Sauber is enjoying a resurgence this season, with 11 points scored from the first five events, more than double its 2017 tally, despite firing technical director Jorg Zander.

It’s also the first time since 2015 that both drivers have contributed points, with Marcus Ericsson’s ninth place in Bahrain – his first score for 50 races.

…with rookie Charles Leclerc delivering in Azerbaijan, the 20-year-old coming home sixth for eight points, his first in F1 – and the first for a Monégasque since Louis Chiron in the 1950 Monaco GP.

And while luck played its part, Leclerc upped his game in Spain, outqualifying Ericsson for the third-straight race, earning another point, and delivering on his pre-season expectations, shared exclusively with The Inside Line.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) CHARLES LECLERC,
F1 DRIVER, SAUBER:
“The main thing for me is that I do a good job, that the engineers are happy of my job and of myself and, obviously I have my teammate here who is the only one who has the same car as myself on the grid. So I have to make sure I am in front of him or competitive at least.”

The Monégasque is a huge talent, having stepped up to F1 after winning the GP3 and F2 titles in successive seasons. But had to mentally prepare for the transition - with Sauber unable to provide a winning car.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) CHARLES LECLERC,
F1 DRIVER, SAUBER:
“I think it’s just change of mentality because when you arrive in junior categories, anytime you change category you are going for the win and in Formula 1 everyone has very different cars so you really need to calm down and just be realistic.”

Remaining realistic is only made more difficult by rumours that he’s next in line to replace Kimi Räikkönen at Ferrari, Leclerc a highly rated member of the Scuderia’s famed Driver Academy since 2016.

And on this the 20-year-old is flattered, but focused.

AUDIO QUOTE (English) CHARLES LECLERC,
F1 DRIVER, SAUBER:
“It’s an honour for me to see an article where Ferrari and Leclerc is written in the same sentence but on the other hand it doesn’t seem realistic for me. I mean, as you said, for now I first need to prove to everyone what I’m capable of in Alfa Romeo Sauber and then we’ll see after that.”

With Leclerc’s home race in Monaco coming up next, another standout result would not be out of the question.