Win-less in the last five grands prix, Charles Leclerc says Ferrari must show the world they have “grown from the mistakes” and find a way to beat Red Bull.
In a season in which Ferrari have thrown away more victories than they have secured, Leclerc was last victorious at the Austrian Grand Prix in July.
Since then it has been all Max Verstappen, although Ferrari did give him a helping hand in France when Leclerc crashed out of the lead and again in Hungary when the Scuderia put the driver, P1 at the time, on the wrong tyres.
With momentum firmly on Red Bull’s side, Verstappen has strung together a run of five wins and could wrap up the Drivers’ title as early as Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
But while Ferrari probably cannot win either title, unless something goes horrendously wrong at Red Bull, there is still a lot to fight for.
Number one being showing the the world that they have learnt from their mistakes.
Asked for goals for this weekend’s Marina Bay Circuit race, Leclerc told the media: “Just extract the maximum out of the car and show that we have grown from the mistakes we’ve done this year and just try to execute the weekends perfectly.
“And hopefully having a win on Sunday.”
Red Bull believe Ferrari will be in the fight, the Scuderia chasing a second successive Singapore Grand Prix win with Sebastian Vettel leading home Leclerc in 2019, the last time Formula 1 visited the country.
“I do expect here for Ferrari to be very strong; they’ve been strong on all the street courses so I do expect them to be particularly strong around this place,” said Sergio Perez.
Told of the Mexican driver’s comment, Leclerc downplayed his chances.
“I don’t know but I hope so,” he said. “I love this track though, it’s one of my favourites with Baku and Monaco, all street tracks. So yeah, I was missing [being] here and I’m really happy to be back here.”
What do you want to get out in the last few races this year?
Charles: "Just extract the maximum out of the car and show that we have grown from the mistakes we’ve done this year and try to execute the weekends perfectly, and hopefully having a win on Sunday."#SingaporeGP pic.twitter.com/pD3VvI7Bmd
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) September 29, 2022
The Singapore race is one of the longest on the calendar, the 61 laps taking over an hour and 50 minutes to complete.
The drivers not only have to contend with swelteringly hot conditions, but they are also racing at night with the 5.065 km-long circuit lined with walls.
Leclerc loves the “tricky task”.
“Mentally as every track, city tracks, but it’s also by night, and the race is one of the longest of the season so… and to still keep the mental fresh whenever your physical is completely dead, is a tricky task.
“You have no room for mistakes, which also makes it exciting. So that’s why I love it that much.”