Charles Leclerc is the first guest on Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast for the 2023 season. The Monegasque driver sat down with host Tom Clarkson to discuss his hobbies, how he spent his winter break, his relationship with team mate Carlos Sainz, Ferrari’s competition for the new campaign and much more.

    Below you can read the full transcript of the episode, listen below in the audio player, or head here to catch it on your preferred platform.

    Tom Clarkson: Charles, great to have you on the show again. You're looking ridiculously well, I must say. You've obviously had a good winter.

    Charles Leclerc: I did. I did. We were actually at the same place. So, you know, I had a very good winter. I spent a bit more time with my family and then did a really good training camp in Italy. Skiing, ice climbing, doing a bit of crazy things. But it was. It was fun.

    TC: I want to talk to you about that in more detail. But with the new season kicking off next weekend, I think a lot of people listening to this want to know about this year's car. How did it feel? The SF-23, is it quick?

    CL: It is very early to speak about how quick the car is. What I can say is that yesterday was a positive day, because the first day of testing is normally done for doing various tests. Take all the data from this test and see whether it correlate well with whatever we expected the car to do in those conditions and everything that we expected, we had it. So, there was no big surprises, which means that the first day was a successful one and a good one. We didn't focus on performance at all. More laps we will do, we will focus on trying to set up the car the right way in order to extract more performance. But the first day was a positive one. No problems on the car also that is very important, and now we'll focus again a bit more on the feeling.

    TC: Charles, you've told me in the past that you know within a few laps whether a car is born well.

    CL: I think I changed my mind on that. Yeah, I don't know. I feel like in today's world, in Formula 1, you've got so many things that you can change on the car to hide the real performance. At the end it's a relative sport. I mean, sometimes I've had a car that feels good, and until you see the lap time, you're like, okay, this feels pretty good. And then you have a very bad surprise watching the lap time. And sometimes it is the other way. Sometimes the car feels really difficult to drive and and you feel like you're really struggling. But compared to the others, you are struggling less and you are the fastest. So it is very difficult to say. Having said that, on the first day when data are correlating well with the factory, this is normally a good sign, but we still need to wait and see where we are compared to Red Bull and Mercedes. Aston Martin also seemed to be quick yesterday. But again, we don't know what they are doing for now. So, I think the best thing to do during this test is to focus on ourself, not focus too much on others this performance. And that's how we'll be in the best position to fight for next week.

    TC: How do the cars feel this year? Because there's been some technical changes. We've got new Pirelli compounds. The floor is being raised a little bit at the edges. Do the cars feel nicer to drive than last year?

    CL: Let's say that is very first feelings, and again we are not in the optimal window of the car yet because this is not the goal yet, but first feeling feels pretty similar to where we ended last year and there were some changes that normally should hurt the car performance for this year, especially the floor. So, this is a good sign. It means that the engineers did a good work to recover the time lost by those changes.

    TC: Do you think we're going to see a recurrence of the porpoising, the bouncing, that dominated, or was a subplot at least of last year?

    CL: No, I don't think so. I hope not. Yesterday, again, we tried different configurations to try and induce it a bit more to see exactly if it got better compared to last year. But, I don't think we'll see more of it this year than last year.

    TC: That was your alarm going off on your phone.

    CL: Yes, it was.

    TC: But wake up. For what? It's 1130 in the morning.

    CL: So this is my alarm clock when I'm back in Monaco and I don't have work to do.

    TC: So when you've had a few months out of the car, can you just describe what it's like for a driver to get back in to a Formula 1 car and just can you describe how extreme it feels?

    CL: It's crazy. I mean, every year I feel like I am better prepared than the year before to get back into a Formula One car. And every year I get surprised by how quick these cars are. But I think for me, what is the the most crazy is you do the first 15 laps and you think you are completely on the limit of the car and then you do the second session and you're three-tenths quicker and, third session and you are again three-tenths quicker and from the first session it maybe takes three or four sessions to actually get back to speed with the driving and you gain nine-tenths which is what, nine-tenths, one second, which is huge in our sport. So yeah, the brain just have to re-understand exactly where's the limit of the car, what to focus on. And it's all in the smallest detail and the smallest detail can make a big difference.

    TC: And what area of performance surprises your body the most?

    CL: I think the braking. The braking is what is most crazy with these cars. The amount of downforce and grip we have under braking is crazy. We arrive at 350 and we break at 70 metres from the corner. So everything is going very, very quickly in this phase, and there you need to readapt a little bit your brain to function that quickly.

    TC: What about the feel in the brake pedal? Because I'm told that you're putting 120 kilos maximum brake pressure. Do you have any feel when you're putting that much pressure on a pedal?

    CL: You do because to me at least, and this is very particular for every drivers, but I don't put 120 kilos only with my leg. Most of it is coming from the weight of my body moving and I'm actually using that to press on the pedal. Which at the end I think what I do with the actual muscle of the leg is much less. So I get a bit more precision doing that. But this is very unique to every drivers. Some use a lot the body weight when they brake. Some others just use the leg.

    TC: Okay, that's really interesting. But you say you're better prepared than ever. Can I ask you a little bit more about what you got up to in the winter in that training camp in Italy? I mean, on the face of it, going skiing looks a real laugh. But how strenuous is that? Or are you constantly going up hill, not downhill?

    CL: No, I'm also going downhill. I'm really careful doing it, going downhill. But it was very hard training, but I absolutely loved it. So we did ski touring. So that's going uphill. And I actually enjoyed it. For the first time of my life in the past, I used to hate it. I mean there's no speed, no adrenalin.

    TC: What do you enjoy about going uphill on skis?

    CL: Well, this year I had a very good material, very light skis, which is more pleasing. You can push more, so this felt good and actually we were always doing this catering to get to a place where we then did ice climbing. So I was having my adrenaline once I was.

    TC: Tell us more, ice climbing, right? Pickaxes and everything?

    CL: Yeah. And this I love. This I love because it's great for physical training.

    TC: Is it all upper body or are you using your legs to push yourself up?

    CL: You use your legs a lot more than what I thought. The legs are super important to use actually to climb, and at first I was only using my arms. So after 10 minutes I was completely dead.

    TC: Good training though, good training.

    CL: But yeah, now I'm a bit better at it. I've done it a few times now. Um, and, and I really, really, really enjoy it. And that's where I gets my adrenaline rush, you know, and then, of course, then you need to go downhill. So, then we ski downhill, which is the fun part.

    TC: This ice climbing. It's not free climbing. You have a safety cord, right?

    CL: Oh, yes. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not that crazy. Yeah, not yet.

    TC: And I'm hearing a rumoUr that you want to go and climb a mountain with your brothers Lorenzo and Arthur. Is that right?

    CL: Yes. This came from them mostly, but they started to convince me. But I don't think they are aware of how hard it is. Uh, it depends which one we want to do, but...

    TC: Any plans? Mont Blanc?

    CL: Not yet. I mean, they are no plans yet. They just told me we need to do that one day. But they just need to train a little bit because I'm training for that, but they are not yet so, yeah, next time I might bring them to the training.

    TC: I guess the point is, you seem very comfortable in the mountains, right?

    CL: In the winter for me, it's sea the summer and mountain in the winter.

    TC: So that's why Monaco is such a great place for you to live. Because you've got the sea on one side and the Alpes-Maritimes behind you.

    CL: Yeah. It's perfect. I'm really happy there.

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    TC: Also, in the winter, you got to drive a legendary Formula 1 car. The Ferrari that Michael Schumacher took to victory in the 2003 Formula one World Championship. What was that like?

    CL: This was really incredible. First of all, I have to thank my friend Thomas Flow for this opportunity as it was his car that he bought some months ago. And we went to Abu Dhabi and it was like a karting day with Formula 1 cars. So he had his 2017 car and his 2003 car and we'll jump from one car to the other whenever we wanted. And we did that for the whole afternoon, which was incredible. The 2003 car is very, very special. On the other hand, it also shows me how much progress there was from 2003 to now in terms of downforce. The downforce that we have in today's car is absolutely incredible and I think it's very difficult to understand how much progress there has been made from 2003 to now. Having said that, the weight of the 2003 car, it's just so fun to drive in the low speed corners.

    TC: Do you really notice the difference in the weight?

    CL: Yes. Yes, you do a lot. Just how agile the car is, how much he can play with the rear of the car. It's very fun to drive the cars of today once you lose the rear, to take it back is fun in a way, but you need to be crazy for it to find it fun. But yeah, the 2003 car, when you lose the rear, it's much more enjoyable to control it and, yeah, a bit more easy to control it, but in a fun way.

    TC: There's some great footage in car footage of you driving that car on YouTube. You look like you were pushing quite hard.

    CL: I did push quite hard. Not too hard because it wasn't my car. And it's still the 2003 of Michael's. So I have a lot of respect for that. So, I had that in mind, but I enjoyed it. I did quite a bit of laps with it, during the afternoon. So, I could push it. And as I said, it's fun to have a bit of oversteer with this car. So I try to create it, to just to have more fun.

    TC: Can we talk lap times? What was the difference? I mean, Pole last year in Abu Dhabi was a 22.8

    CL: We had quite a bit of fuel in the car for me to do quite a lot of laps.

    TC: Tyres, did you have...

    CL: We had to demo tyres of Pirelli, so it wasn't exactly the same tyres as they had back then. but I can tell you 2017 and 2003, which were the two cars that we were driving this days and it was pretty similar lap time but achieved in very different ways. The 2017 was extremely quick in the high speed, losing time in the low speeds and vice versa. The 2003 was very quick in the low speed and losing quite a lot of time in the high speed.

    TC: Now, what else about your winter? I know you went to see the NBA in Paris.

    CL: I did.

    TC: Are you a fan?

    CL: A fan is a big word. I really really like going there and watching the show and the fact that they had a game in Paris. I was there, too. So that was the perfect occasion to to go again. I'm not following all the season, but whenever I'm in the US, I'm trying to go and see a game.

    TC: And you were hanging out with Pierre and Esteban? Good fun?

    CL: Yes, we were. We had great fun. Yeah, we went to see the game all of us three. We were sat next to each other so we could speak Formula 1, mostly, because I think Esteban also had a similar knowledge of myself about NBA, which is not much.

    TC: He has an advantage because of his height as well, Right?

    CL: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And then with Pierre, we had also an activity together playing with, [Joakim] Noah and [Tony] Parker, two legends of basketball, which was fun. And that was another proof that I did well doing the racing driver because every basketball or football is definitely not my thing.

    TC: Not your thing?

    CL: No.

    TC: What is your thing outside of driving?

    CL: I mean, I like playing football, but I'm really bad at it.

    TC: I mean, I think you might know where I'm going with this because you can see just behind you we have a Steinway.

    CL: No, no, no, no. Don't lie. This is not a Steinway. This is a mini piano.

    TC: Can I tell you why I've brought that? Because last time you were on the show, we were having a bit of fun about you playing the piano. And I said to you, 'Oh, Charles I don't believe you play the piano that well', and you said, 'bring a piano to the next race, and I will prove that I can play the piano'. Now, it's not quite the next race and it's not really...

    CL: And it's not really a piano. But, I'm going to try my best.

    TC: Okay, can you play something?

    CL: I can try. Uh oh. The piano is too short for this.

    TC: What are you trying to play?

    CL: Well, the one I normally play, I can just improvise with what I have here.

    TC: So, I mean, we're also missing a key, which is a bit unfortunate. Is that an important one?

    CL: I can still get to it, but it's much more difficult. But it's fine, I will. That is a really rubbish song.

    TC: Charles. It's beautiful.

    CL: Thank you very much for being nice to me. So next year I want a real piano and I will play.

    TC: You want to play a Steinway? Being serious...

    CL: I am being serious.

    TC: I know. I mean. For people who obviously can't see you playing, you looked very comfortable with it. You clearly do play. So I need to eat my words from last time. Can I just ask you about the piano? What does it do for you? Why do you play music?

    CL: I love it because it helps me not thinking about anything else than what I do at that moment, which is play piano, play music. It helps me to disconnect from everything else. And, especially in a season where things gets sometimes tough, but even if they don't get tough, even if they are very happy and everything is going well on track, I think it's great disconnecting from from racing sometimes and piano is the best way that I found for me to think about something else and relax myself.

    TC: So it's escapism for you?

    CL: Yes, it is.

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    TC: And do you take do you take something like that with you on the road?

    CL: I don't. I'm starting to play guitar for that exact reason, because the piano is quite difficult to bring around. A guitar is a bit more easy.

    TC: How's that going?

    CL: Okay. I mean, I like music, and you don't need much to actually enjoy playing an instrument. So, enough for me to enjoy it.

    TC: And for the guitar fans listening to this, Tell us a little bit about the guitar you've got. Fender?

    CL: No, no, I have a very – it's a it's a new guitar, which I actually quite enjoy. It's a Lava. Lava Me 3 is the number. Number three, which is a guitar. It's an acoustic guitar, but with the strange system in it where you can have, echoes, and you can add out audio effects, which makes it sounds a lot cooler and a lot better than I am. So, yeah, I really like it.

    TC: And is it harder to learn or easier to learn than the piano? And does it give you that same escapism that you get when you're playing your Steinway?

    CL: No, I prefer the piano, for now. But probably because my level at the piano is better than the one at the guitar. So, yeah, it's unfair to judge for now, but, time will tell.

    TC: Well, it's fantastic. Thank you for being a good sport, by the way, and playing the piano. I did want to ask if you've developed any other new skills or hobbies since we last had you on the show? I think you've taken up padel, You know, that's tennis with walls, isn't it?

    CL: Yes. I love padel I'm still playing, but I think I was already playing last year. Ice climbing is becoming more of a thing now, but yeah, padel I really, really enjoy it because. I started my, flying lessons to actually pass my flying license. But to be honest is just to mention it because I started last year, then the season started and I didn't have much time to actually practice it. And now I'm a bit like every year is going to be the same. I mean, every year I'm going to have my first race and then it's very intense, so, I won't be able to fly. So when am I going to fly? Because I'm not very confident. It's not like a car where you learn how to drive a car and then you don't forget it. Or maybe you forget some things that are not important. In flying if you start to have doubts while flying about the things you've learned. I am not so confident about continuing it because I don't know when I will need it, but I will probably take some lessons just to have the pleasure of flying with someone that knows how to do it.

    TC: So we're talking fixed wing, not helicopters, right?

    CL: No, not helicopters. Fixed wings. Aeroplanes.

    TC: So you're trying to get your PPL?

    CL: My PPL, which I did like 12 hours already.

    TC: Do you find it easy? The sort of coordination between... I imagine it's comes naturally to...

    CL: The theory is a bit more difficult, not crazy difficult. I mean, I was quite passionate about it, so I put a lot of effort in it, so I was going quite quick. But the joysticks, yeah, this was quite easy for me.

    TC: Oh. What's the plan to fly yourself to races around Europe?

    CL: No, but that's what I meant before.

    TC: Do a Niki Lauda, start your own airline.

    CL: No, I'm not at that point yet. I would like to continue, but I don't really know because once the season starts, then I don't have much time to fly anymore. And then I'm not confident going in a plane after not flying for six months because it's something that you practice and that you always need to do it. Because if something goes wrong, it goes clearly wrong and I don't want to get in that situation. So, it's something that I will continue for now and see later on.

    TC: And just to go back to the escapism, that's what piano does for you. When you're up there free as a bird, how do you feel?

    CL: Really good. This is also one thing that makes me think about something else, and you are really into it. You need to put a lot of concentration into it. There's also this adrenaline, because it's not something every that you do every day and that everybody does, flying an airplane. So, it's really fun.

    TC: And for Italians primarily listening, you're a policeman. I'm pointing you towards Buzz Lightyear.

    CL: Yes.

    TC: A cameo in Buzz Lightyear, the Italian version. Is that right? How did...

    CL: Yeah, I mean, it was a very short cameo. I did the two sentences, but it was fun and crazy how professional it is and how much work there is just for two sentences. I cannot imagine what it's like to do a whole film. Yeah, it was cool. I did these two sentences around 100 times together, which sounds exactly the same to me, but very different to the professional of films. So, it was interesting.

    TC: Charles the point is, you are very busy now in everything. You seem to just be embracing everything about the fortunate position you are in as a Ferrari racing driver, right?

    CL: Yes. But at the same time, I mean, we have... The great thing about being a Formula 1 driver and, and for that we are very lucky and I am very lucky to be in that position is that you get offered very a lot of opportunities. The bad thing that comes with it is that you need to say no to a lot of these opportunities. What I try to do is to obviously take some of those opportunities, but keeping in mind that obviously my main job is to be fast on track and this is very clear to me. So I'm always trying to do that in a time efficient way, to be the best driver on track because this is my priority.

    TC: So let's let's talk drivers. We will start with your teammate Carlos. Year three of you two being together. Can we say that you're truly team mates or is it still a very competitive rivalry?

    CL: No, of course we are. We are really good teammates. I mean, we have a very good relationship. We know how to work together. But I cannot say that this is not a competitive rivalry, because we are extremely competitive. But I don't think these goes... I think these can go together in a way that, yes, we are very competitive once we put the helmets on, but we know how to work together outside the car. So it's really good.

    TC: I loved the launch when you tossed the coin to see who was going to drive it first. There aren't many teammates I can see being able to do that.

    CL: Yeah, it was fun, but it was the fairest way to decide who will drive first. But, it was fun.

    TC: He seemed to struggle more than you with last year's car. Do you require different things from a car in order to be quick?

    CL: In terms of balance? Yes. In terms of car in itself, I think in today's world, all Formula 1 drivers know how to adapt to a different car. Then you kind of have a preference of balance, whether you prefer an oversteery car or an understeery car. But this with the setup that we have in today's car, you can, you can change that. So, he maybe struggled a little bit more at the beginning of the season. But Carlos was extremely quick at the end of the season so, yeah he will be there this year for sure.__

    TC: Charles, how much time do you spend over the winter... Probably not very much, given how busy you've been, but how much time do you spend reflecting on the year that's just bee,n trying to learn from it and what you can take from 2022 and use in 2023?

    CL: We do that basically in two parts. So we have the first part, which is right after the last race in Abu Dhabi where we all come back to the factory, we all do a big debrief of the whole season, with our respective engineer and try to understand what we could have done better. What were the races where we struggled more? Why? And then we take the break and then before the first test of the season. So before here I spent, I think, two weeks straight in Maranello just to focus on what are the actions that we take from those difficult weekends last year, and what are the things that we will do differently this year in order to improve. So yeah, there are these two parts that are very, very interesting. In between these two breaks, so I try to not think about racing too much, but if anything comes to my mind, I write it and, and mentioned it once I come back.

    TC: How do you reflect on 2022?

    CL: Well, I think it's a huge step forward. I mean, we tend to forget from how far we've come in 2020 and 2021. But it is also good that we have this mindset. Being second wasn't enough for the whole team, and even though the two years prior that were very difficult two years, So, I think it was a really big step forward, not enough to win the world championship. And that's why we've been very self-critical at the end of the year and try to improve in all the areas that we could

    TC: So you were leading the world championship after three races last year. Do you understand why the performance dropped off in the middle of the year?

    CL: Well, it was a combination of things. We had quite a lot of reliability problems in the first time. Then we had some strategy mistakes that cost us quite a bit of points too. Then in Paul Ricard, I did a mistake and lost 25 points because I'm pretty sure we could have won that race. So, all in all, that made us lost a little bit the way and then for the second part of the season, unfortunately, we were just not as competitive as Red Bull was. And this is something that we have analysed, that we are trying to address the weaknesses that we have on last year's car with this year's car in order to gain performance. But I guess this is more of a normal thing. What I mean by a normal thing is you always try to gain performance with the work you are doing. The other things were more issues that we try to address for this year with the reliability issue that I'm pretty confident will be better, but let's wait and see, and the strategy mistakes in some moments. That again, we have tried to address with this year analysing the bad races of last year and then personally trying to do a step forwards. Obviously always trying to push to the limits, but doing less mistakes.

    TC: Tyre deg in the races seem to be a thing later on in the year. Do you feel the new compounds in '23 will help with that?

    CL: I think the tyre deg in a way at the end of the year was more of a thing because the car was not as quick as the Red Bull one. And when you need to push more at the beginning of the of the race to try and stay with them, you are, of course, destroying the tyres more and then you see a higher deg. But I felt like at the beginning of the year we were more competitive. So we could take a bit more margin at the beginning of the race, bring the tyres nicely in and that plays a huge parts in tyre degradation. So what we saw at the end of the year I don't think is a particular problem on tyre degradation, even though I think there is a lot of work that we still need to do to improve. But I felt like it was also part of the lack of performance that we had at the end of the year.

    TC: But that lack of performance relative to Red Bull, you could argue, caused all of the issues, right? The tyres deg, yes, but maybe the reliability issues because you were pushing things harder. Maybe Paul Ricard that mistake was because you are absolutely on the limit trying to keep him behind you. So it was a reflection of the pace of the two cars. Is that fair?

    CL: I don't think it's fair, because I think that at the beginning of the season, on the first part of the of the season, we had a very competitive car. So I don't think this is an excuse for the mistakes that has been made at the beginning of the season. But it is fair to say that I think this was the case for the second part of the season, and that tyre degradation was probably accentuated by the fact that we were just weren't as quick as the first parts of the season.

    TC: Who else are you looking forward to racing this year? Who do you think are going to be your main rivals?

    CL: I'm sure Mercedes will be in the fight. I heard loads of good things during the winter break, of Aston Martin, but it's still to be seen. I mean, yesterday they were quick for the first day, but again, you don't know their fuel level, you don't know the engine modes, you don't know you don't know much. So it's very difficult to comment for now.

    TC: Would you welcome Aston Martin back the front with Alonso in particular?

    CL: I mean, I would welcome anyone really. I would love for us to have a championship where all ten teams are fighting, or at least have a chance to fight for a win at one point and that are very, very closely matched. In Formula two, this was the case. In Formula 3, this was the case. And this is amazing because the driver can make a little bit the difference. Whenever you push, you over push the limits, you pay the price much more than what I will do. Last year, if I was doing a bad lap in qualifying, I probably would end up fourth in qualifying behind Carlos and the Red Bull. And so you don't pay that measure price of that small mistake where if everyone is closely matched, if you do that small mistake in qualifying, you pass from first to P10 or P11, which I think is more exciting.

    TC: How important is momentum in this sport? Do you feel that Red Bull, having won the last two drivers championships and been so strong last year, start with an advantage?

    CL: I don't think it's that important to be honest, because we've had a difficult second part of the season last year, but we've learned massively and we've put so much effort in understanding why we have been worse in the second half of the season, what we can do better and all of these things make us very confident that we have done a step from last year to this year. So yeah, I don't put a particular importance on momentum, no.

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    TC: You've got a new boss. Well, your new boss is your old boss. Welcome to Fred Vasseur, obviously. What's it like working with Fred again?

    CL: It's strange to see him in red.

    TC: Has he changed since 2018 when you were at Sauber together?

    CL: No, I don't think he's changed on that much actually, and it's a good thing. I changed quite a bit because when I arrived, I was in my first season in Formula 1. Now, it's my sixth season in Formula 1, I think. So I'm pretty sure he will say something different. But it's something that I never expected. I mean, I met Fred when I was young and now I'm still young, but in a very different place in Formula One with Ferrari. And it's great to work with him again.

    TC: He seems to have come in and I mean, he's making changes already, isn't he?

    CL: Yeah, not huge changes, but I think it's impressive because Ferrari is a huge team. Alfa Romeo is a big team, but obviously there's not all the engine parts, that now he has to manage also in Ferrari. And there are many more people in Ferrari. So, to arrive in Ferrari and understand Ferrari as quickly as he did is very impressive, and he did it in the best way possible. I think he's amazing, to extract the best out of the people and to put those people in the best conditions possible for them to perform at their best, and this is really important. I think it will be great.

    TC: Why is he so good at working with racing drivers? What does he say? What is it about him that makes you and Carlos, but everyone, every driver he's ever worked with, want to do so well for him again?

    CL: I think it's the same point as before. He's extremely good at putting us in the right condition to perform at our best. There's not a particular example. But you know that he's always there for you, if you need to speak or whatsoever and he feels the people really, really well. So yeah, I think his biggest strength is putting the people in the right operating window for for them to extract the best out of it.

    TC: Well, Charles we're almost at the end of this. I did just want to ask you, is the Charles Leclerc were looking at now the best version of yourself that there's ever been?

    CL: Yes, for sure. Because I feel like with experience, you only get better and better from years after years, I always learn something. And it's a sport where you always find something within you, whether it's in the bad days or good days, you always understand something more and improve. So, yes, for sure.

    TC: Are you going to be more vocal in the car about things like strategy and what you need to perform? Do you feel that you need to take a little bit more control over some of the decisions that are made?

    CL: I am really vocal within the team of what I want, and this I think is the right approach. So, this I won't change. I won't be more vocal outside the car because I don't care what people really think. What I care is that I'm feeling good with myself, doing the absolute best within the team to, to improve things, and this is my main focus. In terms of being more vocal once I'm in the car and taking more in hand the decision, I don't think this is the way forward. Because people don't understand how little information we have in the car about the whole situation during a race. I strongly believe that if we get better as a team and when I say as a team, it's everybody involved. Speaking about strategy, looking at the strategy, this is when we will be the best all together, that's where we will win the world championship. We won't win a world championship if I am making the decisions on my own in the car, this is not how it works. So, on that, I'm convinced. So I'll keep this approach.

    TC: You've said this is the best version of yourself that we've seen in Formula 1. Is this the best version of Ferrari that we've seen since you've been at the team?

    CL: Yes, I strongly believe. And is the same, thinking behind. After every season I feel like we do a step, with these two parts that I was speaking early on after the last race. We try and see and understand where we did the things wrong. And then just before this new season, we take actions to improve those things. So yes, of that. So, I'm also sure.

    TC: Well, all that remains to be said for me is best of luck this year. You've got a lot of fans listening to this who are going to be pushing you, shouting at the TV. So just best of luck. Hope it goes well.

    CL: Thank you very much. Thank you.

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