Charles Leclerc highlights Ferrari ‘opportunity’ at Canadian GP

The Monegasque driver is focusing what lies ahead after finally claiming his maiden win at his home race of Monaco

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Charles Leclerc believes he must erase his Monaco GP victory from memory if he is to stand any chance of winning the Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Monegasque celebrated an emotional triumph at his home race at the eighth attempt, clinching the win from pole position a fortnight ago, to make it six wins in his career so far. It means Leclerc has moved within touching distance of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship, closing the gap to 31 points after eight races out of 24.

While the 26-year-old is eager to experience that winning feeling again in Montreal on Sunday, Leclerc knows he has to put Monaco on the backburner and “reset” to stand any chance of beating Verstappen.

“I think as a driver, it is extremely important to reset after each weekend and to always have the same approach, optimising whatever you have done the weekend before – whether it’s a bad one or a good one,” Leclerc told select members of the press in Canada, including Total-Motorsport.com.

Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“As good and meaningful as it was for me to win in Monaco, you’ve got to jump the page and not focus on that anymore, and just focus on the future and what’s ahead. So now my head is only [focused] on here [the Canadian GP].

“I forgot about everything that happened in Monaco and we had a good moment as a team, not because of the people in Monaco but because seven or eight things are working well.

“We are fully focused on the process to get to the results we want and not focusing too much on the recent results. We are working well, the approach doesn’t change.”

Leclerc talks up Ferrari pace

Leclerc, who is the only driver on the grid to finish fourth or higher at every race this season, has had notable upgrades applied to his SF-24 car, which many believe has replaced Red Bull’s RB20 as the fastest on the grid.

And the Ferrari star agrees that the Scuderia have a fighting chance of their first victory in Canada since Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag in 2018.

“I think over the years what we have been missing to win was a car that was good enough. Last year we were struggling in qualifying, then we were actually very fast in the race but we were starting too far away [from the front],” Leclerc added.

“This year, I believe that it could be an opportunity [to win]. As I said earlier, I don’t think it highlights Red Bull’s strength, a track like Montreal, so it might be an opportunity for us.

“We will be very closely matched with Red Bull and McLaren, and we’ve got to maximise everything. Hopefully then, the final result over the weekend will be better than the ones we’ve seen in the past years.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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