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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc explains how mental training has helped him in title fight

Charles Leclerc has upped his game in 2022, and the Ferrari driver believes there is a key reason for the improvement in his performances.

Leclerc Canada
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Charles Leclerc believes that his use of mental training has led to an improvement in his performances in the 2022 campaign.

The Monegasque feels that he has upped his game during the season, which has particularly shown itself in qualifying where he leads the battle against teammate Carlos Sainz by 10-3.

He also remains second in the World Championship standings, though trails leader Max Verstappen by 80 points.

Leclerc credits mental training as helping him to develop his skills as a driver.

"To put me exactly in the zone, to be able to always be at your 110 per cent whenever you get into the car whatever the other outside pressures or whatever is happening around you; this is where mental training is extremely helpful," Leclerc told the BBC.

Leclerc reveals changes that have contributed to improvement

Alongside this, Leclerc thinks that other changes he has made to his life have contributed towards his progression.

"I think there has been a linear progression since I arrived in Formula 1 just by learning year after year and trying to modify some details," the Ferrari driver said.

"This year, I have changed quite a few things, especially in the way I prepare myself for races. In the way I relax after the races. But this comes from experience.

"It's not like last year I was not careful to all of these details. Whenever you get older – I'm still 24, so it's fine – in a way you just feel different things.

"I could feel at the end of last year that I was very tired in the last part of the season and I don't want to get to the last part of this year being tired because I know it's a big opportunity and I just want to win races.

"So there's a lot more off-time, and time where I'm not doing much at home and in between the races.

"Just training and staying at home is basically my new life. Diet, training and staying at home. So there's a lot more boring moments, if I can call it like that, but that are very helpful and I know they are. And this makes a difference."

How being in the title fight has affected Leclerc

Leclerc admits that being in contention for the World Championship in 2022 has probably been an additional factor in encouraging him to improve.

"I used to say no, but I think it is. I think part of it is because when you know you have the car to fight for a world title, then you try to cure all the details," he explained.

"But then I will keep this level of preparation for all the next years because I felt the benefits, when I didn't know the benefit before.

"So whether I'm fighting for the championship or not next year, this will be the new standard for me."

However, Leclerc does not feel that his involvement in the title fight this season has led to any other changes.

"Not really. I've never felt too much the outside pressures," he continued.

"For me this doesn't change much. It's just more happiness, I guess, because whenever you are doing a great job you're rewarded with a victory, which is much more rewarding than a fifth place like last year, whenever we were doing the perfect job.

"And it's also beautiful to see the smiles on the faces of all the people now back at the factory and at the track.

"After two very difficult years where whatever we were doing it was quite frustrating because you'll never get the result that you wanted, now we have the possibility to get the result that we want. So it's good."

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