Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Leclerc will choose his fights better to avoid more “silly” first-lap crashes

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says he will “choose my fights better” during the 2021 F1 season following a series of first-lap collisions last year.

The Ferrari driver said he adopted an aggressive style to overcome the shortfalls of his car during 2020. He collided with his team mate Sebastian Vettel at the start of the second race.

It was the first of several first-lap collisions Leclerc was involved in. He tangled with Lance Stroll in Russia and Max Verstappen in the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Ahead of the new season, and having set the 13th-fastest time in pre-season testing, Leclerc admitted he may have to rein in his aggression this year.

“Let’s wait and see where we are again, because I think there are positive signs already from the test and then we’ll see for sure from Saturday onwards,” he said. “But I think I will probably choose my fights a little bit better.

“Last year, if you take here by example, I was fighting with a Red Bull, which wouldn’t have been possible to keep behind for the rest of the race. So that was a bit silly to have a crash at that point of the race for these type of positions that I wouldn’t have been able to keep anyway.

“But on many other occasions it helped us to achieve better results. I will choose my fights better, but if I have to be aggressive at one point to to get better results, I will do it.”

Leclerc said his crash at the Sakhir GP, which was run on the Outer circuit layout in Bahrain, was an error he is keen not to repeat.

“It was definitely a difficult moment for the team and just I was extremely motivated to do something special, and that motivation sometimes translated in crashes onto the track, which was not great.

“As I’ve done in the past with my mistakes, I always try to understand why I’ve done them and try to not do them again.

“I will still be as motivated to try and do great results and we will have to see where we are at exactly to adapt my aggressiveness on track. But of course I will try not to reproduce these types of mistakes.”

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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5 comments on “Leclerc will choose his fights better to avoid more “silly” first-lap crashes”

  1. If Ferrari continues to be poor, scrapping for the last points again will test his patience, but at least he has better options on the horizon (I guess Red Bull) so it won’t be complete desperation.

    He has done some face palm errors like starting to attack in early qualy sessions and crashing out for example, but seems to learn and stay learned, so will be interesting to watch how he’ll balance his aggressiveness this year. Mustn’t be too steady either as people tend to see only the top results so he must go for it, more than back down.

  2. he adopted an aggressive style

    he tried to overcome all the problems at once..
    That is his problem. To eager and way to much lack of patience. Most of his errors are because of this and he needs to clean up his act.
    A great talent but still a lot to learn.

  3. It’s similar to Verstappen, bloody fast, but consistency comes with the years

  4. Good. He needs to do that, because it seemed to be the clearest part where he showed some lack of judgement in the last season.

  5. Expect it to not change.

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