Leclerc assesses title chances after Monaco win as he claims Ferrari are improving ‘more than anybody else’

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 06: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on in the Paddock during

Charles Leclerc is keeping his feet on the ground after taking an emotional home victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, cooling talk of a title challenge despite praising Ferrari for their recent progress.

Leclerc’s win, along with team mate Carlos Sainz’s podium finish and Red Bull’s struggles in Monte Carlo, saw him slash Max Verstappen’s championship lead to 31 points at the one-third stage of the season.

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Ferrari, meanwhile, are now just 24 points adrift of Red Bull in the constructors’ standings, with Verstappen having to settle for P6 last time out and the other RB20 of Sergio Perez retiring on the first lap.

Such a significant points swing led Ferrari ambassador Marc Gene to argue that thoughts of a championship assault were now “unavoidable” for the Maranello outfit as the season wears on.

From heartbreak to euphoria: Charles Leclerc breaks the Monaco curse

Asked about those comments as the paddock reconvened in Montreal for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, Leclerc said: “I’m not thinking about the championship yet, but definitely the target is to be able to win races every weekend.

“We are, I think, improving more than anybody else in the last seven, eight months, and we need to keep focusing on the process more than on the outcome. The good outcome will only be the result of hard work and work well done.

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“We are really focusing on the process, on our weaknesses, and how we can optimise every single aspect of the car. By doing just that we will get to the point where we are in contention [to] win every single weekend.

“That’s of course the target, because as much as it felt really good in Monaco, now we need to turn the page and look at what’s ahead. We want to win the world championship, that’s the target, and for that we still have to do steps forward.”

Leclerc’s win in Monte Carlo came amid an improved run of form that steadily took the early-season intra-team advantage away from Sainz, who had been leading Ferrari’s charge and won their first race of the year in Australia.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 06: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari arrives in the Paddock during

Leclerc has calmed expectations around Ferrari after his dream home win

“I think it’s always been the same between Charles and me,” said the Spaniard when asked about the battle between the pair. “He goes through very good patches of performance, I go through another good patch.

“I think the important thing is that when he’s having a good race, I’m also having a good race and finishing P3. When I won in Australia, he finished second, and that’s what makes us such a strong team pairing.”

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He added: “That’s why we have so many points in the championship and we are even considering fighting Red Bull for the constructors’ [championship].

“It’s great to see him win in Monaco, it was great to get the win in Australia, but the important thing is that we’re always there, pushing each other, being next to each other in qualifying and the race, and it’s a good situation to have.”


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