Charles Leclerc facing ‘razor’s edge’ at Ferrari with crucial advice given

Michelle Foster
Disappointed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc sitting on a wall after his Brazilian GP DNS.

Disappointed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc sitting on a wall.

Hans-Joachim Stuck has rubbished talk of a “curse” upon Charles Leclerc, the former F1 driver saying he’s just having a confidence-sapping experience with his car on a “razor’s edge”.

Heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Leclerc could at best overhaul three drivers to finish fourth in the standings but that would take a podium result from him and problems for Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

He did make inroads on the trio last time in Las Vegas where he challenged Red Bull for the victory only to finish the race 2.070s down on Max Verstappen, Leclerc ruing the timing of a Safety Car that Ferrari believe cost him the win.

Charles Leclerc needs to master the art of ‘perfection’

It’s not the first time this season that bad luck has befallen the Monégasque driver.

In the last four races alone he has a DSQ to his name, disqualified from the United States Grand Prix when his SF-23 failed a post-race inspection, while in Brazil he didn’t even start due to a hydraulics issue.

But those weren’t the only lost points and opportunities prompting suggestions Leclerc, whose 2022 season was also blighted with issues, is cursed.

72-year-old Stuck rubbished that.

“From a curse? No, I do not think so,” the former F1 driver told

“You have to imagine this: this ride is on the razor’s edge and doesn’t give you much leeway. If you’re a tenth of a second slower, you naturally try to go that tenth faster – but then you take off.

“This is a quality that Max Verstappen and few others have mastered to the point of perfection. That’s the art.

“Of course, if you are aware, like Leclerc, that you are fast, but you make mistakes every now and then, you put more pressure on yourself. You start to think – and that’s not helpful.

“Leclerc simply has to gain the relaxedness and self-confidence that what he is doing is 100 percent right. That is the principle for success.

“I know the situation very well from my time. If you have a teammate who suddenly drives faster than you or is simply better, then you put pressure on yourself and of course, try to compensate for the difference with more effort. But you have to master this art first.

“When you start thinking, it’s already too late. Leclerc has to work on himself so that he can regain the self-confidence that he is one of the very best – which, in my opinion, he is.” recommends

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Should Leclerc look at his options outside of Ferrari?

Having arrived on the Formula 1 grid as a Ferrari junior, Leclerc stepped up the senior team in 2019 when he was billed as the Scuderia’s next World Champion.

Five years down the line, he and the team are still waiting.

Leclerc will have at least another three years to try to win a title for Ferrari with reports he will extend his contract for a further two seasons.

“If Ferrari wants you, there is no answer. This needs to be emphasised,” Stuck said.

“Maybe I’m too much of a traditionalist. There is probably nothing better than driving for Ferrari.

“The fact that Leclerc is experiencing this disappointing period at Ferrari is of course bad luck. He also probably put a lot of pressure on himself because he knew that Ferrari was the chance of a lifetime. But there are also other well-known drivers who failed at Ferrari.”

Stuck says Leclerc now needs to focus on overcoming the setbacks, both his and Ferrari’s.

“Those are two pairs of boots. If you have a mechanical error, there’s nothing you can do anyway. Then all you can do is get angry and curse. But if you make a mistake yourself, it’s a completely different process.

“During my time at Audi I had a few hotshots like Frank Biela in my team. Frank was younger and in many ways simply better. But it made me take a cue from him and I thought, ‘God damn it! What the guy does, I should actually be able to do.’ I tried things out during practice, but quickly realised that it didn’t work.

“In such situations you also realise where the limits of your own talent lie. And you have to accept that too. If I know that Biela was faster again in practice, then I won’t risk anything and follow him as best as I can and try to learn something.

“You can learn a lot while following behind and at some point you might take the opportunity to do something even better. That has always been a very important point in my life, to orient myself towards others.”

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