“We Maximised Our Potential,” says Debutant Charles Leclerc

Credit: Sauber Motorsports AG

Charles Leclerc believes he got all he could out of his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car as he finished thirteenth on his Formula 1 debut in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Monegasque racer, who in the past two seasons has won both the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 2 championships, the first driver to ever win both categories, said he was happy with how his debut had gone, even though his start was not as good as it could have been.

“I am very happy about my day,” said Leclerc.  “The start was not ideal – I had to catch up with the competitors ahead of me and slowly work my way forward.

“We maximised our potential and had a consistently good pace. I was able to overtake some of the cars, which was fun.  Overall, it has been a positive weekend.”

Pre-season testing suggested Sauber could struggle but Leclerc made a mistake and was unlucky not to reach Q2 in qualifying and then managed to finish ahead of Lance Stroll and Brendan Hartley in the race.

“We have made good progress since Friday and are at a good starting point,” said Leclerc. “I have learned a lot and feel confident going into the next round in Bahrain.”