Charles Leclerc says a mentality reset at Ferrari has been key to bringing an end to their 45-race wait for a win in F1. The Monegasque driver led the Italian team over the line at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday to register their first 1-2 finish since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix. The triumph offered Ferrari and team boss Mattia Binotto reward for nearly two years spent sacrificing results to focus on 2022's regulation change, whilst rivals Red Bull and Mercedes battled hard on track. And now Ferrari top the standings after race one, with a 17-point lead over Mercedes and a 44-point advantage over Red Bull.
Leclerc hails mentality reset at Ferrari
As he took the chequered flag in Bahrain, Leclerc told his race engineer: "That's exactly how we should start the season!" The win was only the 24-year-old's third of his F1 career after two years spent behind the wheel of an uncompetitive Ferrari car. "It's been a long time since we first started work on this car," Leclerc, who now leads the World Championship for the first time in his career, told media including RacingNews365.com . "There's been a massive amount of work and also quite a mentality reset. "After 2019 we had two very difficult years and the team at the factory have been working extremely well, I think. "We've also been very good at identifying the weaknesses of the previous cars and came with these new cars, a very strong car, and [that] made it possible for us to be fighting for better positions."
Leclerc warns development will be key in 2022
The task now for Ferrari will be to ensure their F1-75 remains the car to beat between now and the end of the 2022 season. "I really hope it will be the case," added Leclerc, as expectation surrounding Ferrari's chances grows. "I think this year, development will be very important, so we need to stay on it [throughout the season]. "The way we have worked in the past few years is impressive, and now we need to keep up that amount of work."