Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up

Charles Leclerc says he spent more time than ever with Ferrari in his preparations for the new Formula 1 season after completely recovering from COVID-19.

Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up

Leclerc revealed in January that he had tested positive for COVID-19 following a trip to Dubai, but was able to link back up with Ferrari at the end of the month to complete some testing in a 2018-spec car.

The Monegasque driver is entering his third season with Ferrari after leading its campaign in 2020, scoring two podium finishes and close to triple the points of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

But Leclerc felt he still had still plenty of room for improvement heading into this year, and that he had spent a sizeable amount of time with Ferrari at its Maranello base during the off-season to work on those areas.

“I think I’ve never been at Ferrari as much as this season before the actual start of the season,” Leclerc said.

“We’ve also been doing quite a bit of tests with the old car, so I feel very ready. I’ve been working in a similar way as I’ve done in the past, trying to understand what were my weaknesses last year.

“I still believe that tyre management is something I shall push. I’ve improved massively last year, and I hope that will be another step this year.

“That’s what I’ve done basically, trying to look at past races, trying to understand what could we have done better as a team, as myself, in the car, and yeah, try to improve on [tyre management] especially.”

Read Also:

As well as running in the 2018 SF71H at Fiorano in January, Leclerc also took part in a Pirelli tyre test last month using a 2019 mule car to help develop the new 18-inch rubber for 2022.

He will get a first extended run in Ferrari’s new car, the SF21, at the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain later this week, two weeks before the start of the new season.

Leclerc is one of six F1 drivers to have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The severity of the virus has differed between the group, with some being harder hit than others.

Lance Stroll said last week that he “underestimated” the impact COVID-19 had on his season last year after becoming ill ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix, and that it took time to get completely over it.

But Leclerc was confident he had fully recovered from the virus, having undergone specific tests to ensure his fitness was at its regular levels ahead of the new season.

“I’ve recovered completely,” Leclerc said. “It didn’t hit me that bad, luckily, so I feel completely fine.

“I’ve done some physical tests just after COVID to be sure that everything came back to normal, and it’s the case. “So all good on that.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Mazepin’s misconduct will never be swept away

Previous article

Why Mazepin’s misconduct will never be swept away

Next article

Williams won't sacrifice brand for "last drop of sponsor money"

Williams won't sacrifice brand for "last drop of sponsor money"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021