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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc explains how he edged Sainz in 2022

After having finished below Carlos Sainz in 2021, Charles Leclerc explains how he was able to leapfrog his teammate in 2022.

Leclerc Media Mexican GP 2022
To news overview © XPBimages

Having finished ahead of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz in the 2022 Drivers' Championship, Charles Leclerc attributed his improvement to a change in off-track approach.

Sainz joined Ferrari at the start of 2021, and outscored Leclerc in that year's championship by 164 points to 159.5.

However, Leclerc turned the tables in 2022, scoring 308 points to Sainz's 246 and winning three races to his teammate's one, and the Monegasque said a few pre-season lifestyle changes had helped him attack the season with renewed vigour.

"I changed a few things. The way I work, how I discipline myself at home. That was a bit of a freestyle last year," Leclerc told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Whenever I was at home, I was doing many different things.

"To be honest, I was very tired in 2021 from mid-season to the end. That influenced me and affected my performance.

"It's also possible that this car suits me better. We had a great winter test, and we tried a lot of things there.

"We put a lot of focus on how I can drive the car, and that helped that I started the season at a high level. I could focus on the details."

Leclerc laments Red Bull development

While Leclerc and Ferrari had taken an early lead in both Championships after two wins in the first three races, the Scuderia would win just twice more over the course of 2022.

By contrast, Red Bull racked up 17 wins over the same period and cruised to both titles, and Leclerc noted that the drinks-backed squad had improved their cornering speed over the course of the season.

"They are really strong on the straights," said Leclerc.

"At the beginning of the season we were able to make up for the deficit because we were quicker in the corners.

"Then they took a step in the corners and were simply faster than us overall.

"But again, I don't think the biggest problem was tyre wear. We need to work on improving our execution on race Sundays.

"If I look at the whole season, I think we had the performance to fight for the title. We didn't do it."

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