‘I loved it’ – Leclerc raring to go for next two Sprints of 2021 after format debuts at Silverstone
Charles Leclerc was thrilled by the new F1 Sprint format during the British Grand Prix weekend, and said he can't wait to try it out again when it's run at two further trial events this season.
Leclerc took a stunning podium after leading 49 laps in the British Grand Prix itself and, while he was disappointed to lose out on victory, the Driver Of The Day was elated to have taken part in the brand-new F1 format that saw drivers battle in a dramatic Saturday Sprint, with qualifying moved to Friday evening.
On the F1 TV Post-Race Show, he said: “I loved it. Personally, I love the new format; on Friday I am always super bored and I just want to get to Saturday where things are getting serious. At least this time straight away on Friday, things were serious.”
Leclerc enjoyed a “flat-out” run to P4 in the Sprint and ended up leading the British GP after Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided on Lap 1 for some 49 laps, before Hamilton overtook him for the win just two laps from the finish. After the race he said there was one tweak he would consider making to the experimental format.
“If I can give one personal opinion,” he continued, “it’s that maybe we need to do something for the qualifying to have a bit more power, especially to keep the qualifying for the Sunday.
“But the Saturday Sprint race is a very good thing in my opinion. I’m looking forward to the next two weekends where we’ll have a Sprint on Saturday,” he concluded.
The Monegasque has been in great form lately as he took pole at home in Monaco, and for the following Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, and now he’s taken his first podium since 2019. Does that mean he can replicate that performance next time around in Hungary?
“Yes, I mean it’s good to be [optimistic], and we all want to be optimists after the last three races but on the other hand we need to be realistic,” he stressed at Silverstone.
“Of course, it is good, and we are in a good mood but I feel like going for the win in Budapest might be a bit optimistic. I will be happy if we are just behind the two top teams.”
With P2 at Silverstone, Leclerc sits sixth in the standings and Ferrari fourth ahead of the 11th round of the championship at the Hungaroring on August 1.