Leclerc claims Sauber progress saved him from "difficult season"

31-12-2018 12:17
by Adam Newton
Leclerc claims Sauber progress saved him from difficult season

Charles Leclerc became one of the biggest stories of 2018, performing exceptionally well in his Sauber and earning himself a drive with Ferrari, F1’s most famous team and a very likely title contender for next season.

However, Leclerc himself admits that it could have been very different if the Sauber team didn’t develop the car at the rate they did.

Sauber were expected to be the backmarkers this season, but by the end of the year they were one of the more competitive midfield teams, with Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson often reaching Q3 and scoring points.

Leclerc said: "I think it could have been a very difficult season mentally if obviously myself and the car would have kept the level we had at the beginning of the season.

"For me it made things it a lot more interesting once we started to evolve as a car and also myself as a driver, fighting for points and things like this, it gave me a lot of motivation."

However, Leclerc did have a slow start to life in Formula One, finishing 13th, 12th and 19th in his first three races.

The Monegasque puts this down to his belief in the ability of the car.

He added: "But I believe that if you are in a position like where we were for the first few races for the whole year, the motivation is quite difficult.

"Probably I was thinking in the first three races [that] we were not so competitive so obviously after 20 laps we were alone in 19th position and then it gets quite boring as you are just waiting for the end of the race."

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