Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Interlagos, 2018

Leclerc: Sauber didn’t expect car to be this strong

2018 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc says Sauber didn’t expect to end the season with such a competitive car.

The 21-year-old, who will make his final start for the team next week before moving to Ferrari, was the first driver home after the ‘big three’ teams in Brazil.

Sauber has consistently made the biggest year-on-year gains with its car of any team since the middle of the season. Leclerc admitted the team has brought few upgrades during that time.

“I don’t think we expected to have such a good end of the season, [with] the end of the development programme for this year’s car so early. So it’s definitely looking good for them for next year, because they’ve had quite a bit of time to develop the car.”

Sauber has moved ahead of Toro Rosso in the constructors’ championship and Leclerc said their priority is ensuring they end the season where they are.

“We’re obviously not going to take stupid risks to gain one position if they are behind,” he said. “That’s for sure going to change a little bit our approach.

“But the goal remains the same, to do the best job possible every week, and to obviously keep them behind. We will change a little bit in some situations.”

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2018 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Leclerc: Sauber didn’t expect car to be this strong”

  1. Great, lets hope Giovinazzi can do something good with the momentum.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      18th November 2018, 12:29

      And even if he doesn’t, they have an experienced and steady driver in Raikkonen who has proved this season he can achieve podiums even if he does not have the pace

      1. Consistent podiums, a pole (the fastest in F1 history) and a win in a battle with a 5 time world champion.

      2. I suspect Ferrari will be less than amused if Raikkonen happens to beat their two cars.

    2. @rethla fingers crossed, I’m really excited by this prospect next year!

  2. I think it would have been fascinating if LeClerc had stayed at Sauber – Kimi joined him and Danny Ric moved to Ferrari.
    That would have me even more keen for next season than I already am ;)

    1. I suspect one S. Vettle had a big say in stopping Dan coming to Ferrari.

      It really is a shame, Dan deserves to have a crack at a season with a car that that can challenge for a title. Since Dan only had drives at Torro Rosso and Red Bull (Turbo Era only at Red Bull) he really has not been given a shot.

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