Ferrari academy driver and Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc finished sixth in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was an impressive result from young Monégasque racing driver, who didn’t put a wheel wrong as he recorded Sauber’s best result since the 2015 Russian Grand Prix, a race where Felipe Nasr was also P6.
Interviewed at the end of the race in Baku, Charles Leclerc talked about Scuderia Ferrari, his expectation for the future and how much he and the car improved:
Have you received compliments from some Ferrari representative?
Charles Leclerc: “Yeah, well, Jock Clear has just arrived to congratulate me, and I’ll go see Maurizio later. I am very close to Ferrari, to see them happy for my race makes me really proud.”
How much has the C37 improved and how much Charles Leclerc?
CL: “I think it’s a combination of both factors. I think I have improved a lot thanks to the approach we had this weekend working on the set-up. We went in a somewhat different direction, as I prefer a more understeer car, and my feeling has changed as from day to night. Then I think that even our car has adapted well to this track, so a mix of positive factors that have allowed me to have much more confidence.”
Did you expect to be able to do well on this track?
CL: “I had two very difficult first Grands Prix, in Melbourne and in Bahrain. Then the Shanghai weekend was much more positive for me, even though we did not materialize in the race. I didn’t imagine I could finish this weekend in P6, but I was still confident that I could do well here.”
You overtook Alonso in your fourth race in Formula 1…
CL: “Fernando was a driver I was watching when I was five years old in Monaco so to race with him today is quite crazy. To have been able to fight with him, okay we had the tyre advantage, but even at the end of the race we were looking strong compared to McLaren. The whole race we were looking strong compared to them.”