Speaking ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team rookie Charles Leclerc reflected on one of the finest races of his fledgling career, also at the Bahrain International Circuit.
12 months ago, Leclerc took a sensational sprint race victory on his début weekend in the FIA Formula 2 championship; making the risky decision to pit for fresh tyres midway through the race, before scything his way through the field with ruthless efficiency – a race that set the tone for the Scuderia Ferrari protégé’s triumphant 2017 season.
Leclerc was subject to a contrasting result in his first Formula 1 weekend in Australia, out-qualified by team-mate Marcus Ericsson and finishing a lonely thirteenth in the race. However, the Monégasque talent says that he feel suitably prepared for the Bahrain weekend.
“After having participated in my first Formula 1 race in Australia, I look forward to going into my second round,” stated Leclerc.
“I will be familiar with all of the activities taking place at the track throughout the race weekend. I’m excited to go to Bahrain.”
Contrarily to the Albert Park circuit, Leclerc has previous knowledge of the Bahrain track and acknowledged the “interesting” challenges it poses, namely excessive tyre wear.
“I know the track from last year when I raced there in Formula 2, and have great memories,” he said.
“I had one of my best races there. The track is interesting. The temperatures are very high, which is very aggressive on the tyres. This creates interesting strategies due to the degradation that takes place.”
Sauber are confident in improving further on their Australian performance, with evidence of progression from 2017 clear to see. Leclerc refrained from making predictions, choosing to approach the weekend with an open mind.
“Let’s see what the next race will bring.”