Responsible Leclerc must look in the mirror at Ferrari

Responsible Leclerc must look in the mirror at Ferrari

17 August - 11:05

Charles Leclerc and Ferrari did not end the first half of the season on a good note. During the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Italian racing team made another strategic blunder, after which the Monegasque was pretty much burned out. The driver, however, forgets to look himself in the mirror, which is crucial if he ever wants to win a world title.

His team has been very unhappy with choosing the right strategy so far this season. Whereas Ferrari were often the strongest in qualifying, they barely managed to excel the next day. Wrong decisions have seen Leclerc miss out on his race on several occasions. For example, Ferrari failed to bring him in during the safety car at Silverstone (he was ahead and finished fourth) and went wrong in Monaco when the track dried up (resulting in fourth place). The second driver in the world championship is therefore disappointed with his team. However, he also has his own responsibilities to take on.

Leclerc must build self-confidence

Ferrari made an unusual choice in Hungary by not only bringing him in for a tyre change at the wrong time but also choosing the wrong compound. During the race and afterwards, Leclerc found it incomprehensible that his team came to this decision. However, during the race Leclerc could have intervened himself, taking an example from teammate Carlos Sainz.

In the French GP, Sainz was in the process of overtaking when Ferrari ordered him to come in for a tyre change. The Spaniard immediately felt the moment was wrong and refused to enter the pit lane, doing Sainz a great disservice. He made the same decision earlier in Monaco, which earned him second place.

Leclerc, unlike Sainz, is relying entirely on the information Ferrari have in the pit lane about the state of his car: clearly the wrong mindset. The driver must realise that he only knows how the car feels and that he must therefore look critically at the team's decisions. If he and his talents feel that another choice is better, he should be able to bang his fist on the table and overrule his team.

Development needed for world title

Max Verstappen's contract with Red Bull Racing runs until the end of 2028, so Leclerc will need to develop if he is ever to win the world title. The Red Bull driver is confident of himself and is studying several scenarios before the race so he is ready to make the right choice. Verstappen has also shown in the past that he dares to contradict his team over the radio, while also taking responsibility when things go wrong because of him.

With his nimble nature, it will be virtually impossible to beat the Dutchman: he simply lacks the talent to make things difficult for the reigning champion. However, Leclerc can start to show a new version of himself in Belgium. A person who doesn't just rely on the decisions of his team, but also dares to make his own choices. Someone who doesn't just ask the media why Ferrari chose a certain strategy, but also looks at himself. And a driver who knows what he wants, without hesitation.

It will apparently be too late to make things difficult for Verstappen this year, but it will give him a chance to show himself next year. At Ferrari, he is expected to have a car at his disposal in 2023 that will allow him to take the world title, but he must not forget to strike in the new season.

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