Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2019

Leclerc made “big” change to improve one-lap performance

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc says a significant change to his approach to qualifying gave him the upper hand on Saturdays over his team mate.

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What they say

Leclerc, who began a nine-race run of starting ahead of Sebastian Vettel at the French Grand Prix, was asked in Japan whether he’d recently changed his approach to F1:

I changed quite a big thing nine or 10 races ago. But since the summer break, not so much, not something I can remember. I just take confidence that the team is getting better and better, we are working in the same direction and I think at the moment it’s paying so it’s good to see that.

[It was] just the approach to the qualifying especially after Baku. After I crashed in Q2 I was very, very disappointed and I changed a few things to just have a better build-up until the last Q3 lap and I think that has helped me a lot.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Sbewers is unconvinced by Romain Grosjean’s views on Lewis Hamilton’s plant-based diet:

It’s quite a common misconception, but when the list of vegan sports stars features names such as Lewis Hamilton, Venus and Serena Williams, David Haye, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Tom Brady; I’d say Grosjean’s concerns are probably misplaced.

Also, for those bashing Hamilton about promoting a greener lifestyle whilst participating in F1, why should it be all or nothing? He is making a big contribution to improving his carbon footprint by switching his diet and promoting the cause. Sure, he’s never going to be carbon zero in a sport such as F1, but nor does he need to be. The thing is, any improvement is better than none at all. Is it pointless driving an electric car if you eat meat? No. Should you just stop recycling if you drive a diesel? No.

There’s a strange perception that unless you’re doing absolutely everything and cutting out absolutely everything then it’s pointless doing anything at all, when that simply isn’t the case. You don’t need to be the complete package of ‘green’ in order to make a contribution. We could all do a little better, make little improvements, without cutting out everything. You don’t stop eating food completely in order to lose weight. Nor do charities stop accepting donations of less than £10,000. Why? Because (at the risk of sounding like a popular supermarket chain) every little helps.

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Author information

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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  • 30 comments on “Leclerc made “big” change to improve one-lap performance”

    1. manoli moriaty
      22nd October 2019, 3:45

      COTD is spot on. Alas, call-out culture and spite from the safe distance of one’s keyboard prevails.

      1. +1. To the CoTD and your comment, manoli.

        1. Thanks guys, and thanks for COTD Keith. Completely agree with your comment about call-out culture manoli.

          1. Excellent and spot on COTD and follow up @sbewers and Manoli, bravo.

        1. +1. Bravo COTD. None of us are perfect and every little helps. Lewis Hamilton is in a position where, although his sport is not as green as we’d like, he has a massive fan base that he can address to try and help a little bit more.

      2. Amen. Nailed it.

      3. agreed. very good COTD. it seems bizarre that it needs saying at all, the message is so obvious, but @sbewers found a fresh way to say it.

      4. There’s a strange perception that unless you’re doing absolutely everything and cutting out absolutely everything then it’s pointless doing anything at all

        I completely agree.

        I had a friend, a very good engineer, who went to work in Botswana (and other African countries) designing and building wind-powered water pumps to replace the Diesel powered ones that were most common. He was paid very little by comparison to what he would have earned in the UK, and did this to help people.

        While there, he kept up his passion for motorcycles and cars, including racing them. However, every year he would get another charity worker having a go at him for “wasting” the money he earned on these rather than “giving to the villagers”… What he was doing wasn’t “enough” for them. He came very close to quitting altogether and coming back to a 6-figure job in the UK several times.

      5. The COTD is debating a strawman, pretending that everyone was criticizing him, rather than criticizing the praise he got (which is not the same!) & pretending that people like me make no distinction between making a small effort while having an extremely polluting lifestyle (by choice!) and an average person making a small effort.

        Hamilton makes choices all the time that make him pollute many times more than the average person, even if you ignore the pollution related to his job as a driver. His veganism doesn’t even come close to compensating for this, so I don’t see why he should get any credit for this.

        Imagine an oil company that causes immense pollution to the environment by sloppy business practices that they could easily change and then makes a contribution to an environmental preservation fund that is so small that it is only a fraction of the damage that they caused. Don’t you think that this company doesn’t deserve to be celebrated for their environmentalism & this behavior is not morally the same as an average person who pollutes the environment by driving a car and such, but who has far less ability to make a change?

        As I said before, Hamilton could keep his job and live 10 times as luxurious as the average person, while polluting way less than he does. He just doesn’t want to, because he wants to live 50 times as luxuriously as the average person. He is allowed to do so, but I don’t see why I should celebrate him as an environmental role model.

        If these are going to be our role models, then climate change will happen (probably with the ‘do-littles’ complaining about how the ‘do-nothings’ are all to blame).

        1. Keith political propaganda here continues unabated. His right of course. But it is part of a group that will try to use F1 for politics and will risk destroying it.
          What is “environmental” ? a thousand more complex hybrid engine that needs 50 or 100 models testing in bank to be reliable in 10 races? Does Hamilton or Keith talks about that?
          Of course not, this is a game of social posturing for self promotion that works when the underlined narrative is already established.

          Hamilton if he feels well being vegan then good on him, just don’t start pushing it on others.

    2. Regarding W series, I think they made a mistake by allowing previous winner to participate in next season. The prize money is supposed to be some support to find a drive the following year or I have missed something. Would have liked them to state that “you’ve won, you graduated”.

      Wseries should be a step toward something else and not a goal in itself. By keeping their champion it feels like they want to build a competitive championship rather than promote their racing drivers as was initially advertised.

      1. It might also be an indication that the winning money is not enough though @jeanrien – I agree that it somewhat undermines the series.

      2. @jeanrien, that is a good point. One I hadn’t considered. I have been of the view that with such a short season they would need several seasons for a champion to truly prove herself as above the rest.

        This Yahoo News article cites the fact that no superlicense points were awarded for last year’s results as a major reason she returned to defend her title. That would suggest, @bosyber, that your statement might be accurate. If the prize money was more substantial she would probably be able to move onto another series to get those superlicense points.

      3. It is very unfair and sexist for the w series to award super license points when half of earth’s population can not even take part. To me the top 12 staying in that series proves that it is a comfortable place for them to stay. The competition is far easier than in any other f3 level all-gender sport. And they get paid. They don’t need to worry about sponsorships and the calendar is very easy with so few races. And the publicity is extremely good. And more importantly they have a guaranteed seat. Why move to any F3 series to finish at best in the mid field at national level (see chadwick at british f3) when you can be a well paid champion in the w series?

        And no series wants to lose their champion. W series for sure doesn’t want to lose chadwick. They want to build their brand with their own drivers. After all what is the biggest issue for any lower level racing series? The drivers want to get away to the next level as soon as possible. What if you could hold on to your drivers? $$$! And after all what are the alternatives for these women? Look at what calderon has been able to achieve in F2. Last place finishes. F2 is incredibly tough and if f3 winners struggle what chances does a mid field national f3 racer have in that series? Finish in bottom third and then move to sportscars because people still remember your w series championship? W series give you money and fame. The decision is a no brainer. Stay where you are. Tell me why should chadwick go anywhere else?

        You have to ask what are the long term incentives for w series. I think the mid term goal is to make a formula 2 series to start building their no-males allowed racing ladder. After all for the w series organizers what is the best way to handle their own champions? Make them progress from w series to w2 series. And it makes very much sense for the drivers as well. The only question left is when is w series going to start paying salaries to its star drivers. When they have enough money to do that they have enough money to make a w2 series with f2 cars.

        1. @socksolid Those superlicense points are just a token anyway. Which F1 team is going to hire a driver just because she has a few superlicense points? The team would actually need to see her be better than the male colleagues and the only way she could really show that would be to beat them. Or perhaps in an F1 test. Either way, she would need to actually be good enough too.

        2. @socksolid

          W series might also destroy the career of a truly talented female driver. With the small number of races, a W driver gets fairly little experience. With the poor competition, a truly talented female driver won’t be challenged that much and can afford to coast. The free seat and payment can act like golden handcuffs, keeping female drivers out of more competitive series that do form a pipeline to the top tier.

          I think that sports need to choose between mixed competition or separated (at the professional level). A hybrid can’t really work. With separated competition, female competitors can perhaps be paid equally to male competitors for unequal work and for being much less skilled*, like in tennis.

          * I know that this is an easily provably fact that people are nevertheless not allowed to believe in, but that doesn’t make it less true.

      4. @jeanrien It is supposed to be a help. But it’s turned out to not actually be helpful, which I suspected was going to be the case. After all, the winner (Jamie Chadwick) had momentum going into the series (making it difficult to see if W Series actually gave her any further momentum), and the next driver in the championship (Beitske Visser) was considered too old to make it further up the single-seater ladder. To be getting places further up the ladder on merit, a driver would have needed to squarely beat Beitske (along with people like Alice Powell who had a chance in F3 and blew it) and probably with Jamie. Nobody did, so the only one likely to get anything on merit was Jaime.

        Perhaps Jaime could have used the money, but she signed with Williams (something I suspect would have happened with or without the W Series because she won the MRF Championship this winter and Claire Williams was looking for an upcoming meritous female racer to support). Chances are, Jaime’s progress is going to be where Williams funds her, making the amount she gets from W Series moot… …and limiting her because Williams can’t afford to place her very high when it’s having trouble funding the F2 team’s parts (a rather higher priority). W Series is a series Claire has committed to support, and doesn’t cost any money for Williams to place Jamie there, but it will restrict where else she can race (because date clashes are a problem – especially if the North American leg happens).

        The drivers behind didn’t really get any particular boost from the money, because it wasn’t enough to buy a drive. A race seat in F3 is at least £300,000 (double that if you want a seat somewhere that is actually competitive) and even the winner only got $500,000 (which translates into about £386,000. Second place is half that, and third place a quarter. So Marta Garcia (the third-placed driver) only has enough money to buy about a third of a backmarker F3 seat. That’s not much use.

        ” Finish in bottom third and then move to sportscars” would be a disaster for W Series – several of its drivers, most prominently second-placed Visser, are from sportscars!

        (W Series pays some prize money down to 10th place, I think, so there’s a bonus-based salary effectively in place already).

    3. Clearly not convinced by vegan diets for athletes. For sure Hamilton can pay a very expensive tailor made diet with complement pills but human body isn’t meant for vegan no matter what Hamilton says. I respect the choice but it often comes with drawbacks. I feel something like flextarian is more adjusted to human needs imo.

      1. The human body isn’t meant for strictly vegan in the sense that we do not absorb the vitamin B12 produced by bacteria in our colon, like many animals do. But we only need a tinny amount (much less than we get each day) and it stacks in our body for over a years worth.
        If one sticks to an “ape diet” of fruits, vegetables, nuts and occasionally meat or fish (<5% of the total calorie input), no sugar (other than in the fruit), no processed food, no diary products – one would have a much better health than average.

        It is possible to replace the remaining 5% with pure plant food, but that takes some careful selection or vitamin supplements. Instead, a piece of salmon (f.i.) once every 2 weeks should do fine.

        1. that’s interesting to me especially because I had a B12 vegan burger on sunday (purely to see what it was like – i am not a vegan because i eat a lot of fish mainly) and i wondered if the brand name was related to the vitamin.

        2. Know a person that almost got diabetes because of sugar in fruit. He didn’t drink anything with sugar or eat sugary fruit.

          1. Sorry, eat sugary food instead of fruit.

    4. Regarding the Motorsport Broadcasting-tweet: Good news, and add to that, hopefully, Ben Edwards would be back at doing the narration as well.

    5. Congrats to Abbie Eaton on her entry into W Series. I had never heard of her until she became the hotshoe driver on The Grand Tour a couple of years ago. She’s properly quick and seems to be a genuinely interesting, funny person as well! Best of luck to her.

    6. Loved the Martin Brundle comment about negotiating his contract and payment while he was driving in a race! Not likely to hear anything like in today’s F1…

    7. To be honest, the thing that Lewis is doing that reduces his carbon footprint the most is not having kids.

      1. But can he get a dog? 2 dogs, 3 dogs? What is evil carbon footprint of his dog?

    8. Wow, COTD is so spot on I can’t even come out with a decent analogy

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