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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc makes drivers' title talk claim after Monaco win

Charles Leclerc feels it is still too early to discuss the F1 drivers' championship, despite cutting Max Verstappen's lead and recent Ferrari improvements.

Leclerc Monaco
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Charles Leclerc insists he is not thinking about the F1 drivers' championship, despite slashing Max Verstappen's lead in the title fight after winning the Monaco Grand Prix.

Heading into the weekend in the principality the Dutchman held a 48 point advantage over the Ferrari driver - close to two grand prix victories. However, with Leclerc taking his sixth career win and Verstappen only able to score eight points, the gap as been reduced to 31. 

Nevertheless, the Monegasque driver believes it is "too early" in the season to be considering the championship, instead choosing to focus maximising weekends and incremental improvements.

"Oh, is it 31? Oh, somebody told me 23, so I was excited. But 31 is okay. I mean, I'll take it anyway, but it's a bit more than what I had been told. So, yeah, it's okay," the 26-year-old said to media including RacingNews365 when told of the gap to the Red Bull driver, having clearly been given a figure not factoring in Verstappen's sixth-place finish in Monte Carlo.

"But I don't think about the championship for now anyway, and it's still too early on in the season.

"I think the upgrades that we have brought in Imola, we have still to see how well they work and where it will bring us. And then it's all about maximising all weekends, and then hopefully, little by little, we'll get there."

Seeking stability

Leclerc's victory at his home grand prix comes on the back of a comprehensive suite of updates introduced by Ferrari at the previous round, in Imola.

Whilst the Italian team were not able to put that raft of upgrades to good effect during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, he believes Monaco should not be considered the turning point in the season - suggesting that happened some races before, as he looked to shake off a difficult start to the year.

Having twice failed to convert pole position to the race win in the principality, Leclerc explained he did not alter his usual approach to Monte Carlo this time around.

"No, no, not at all," he replied when asked if he had changed the way he tackles his home race. "And I think the perception from the outside sometimes can change but at the end what I try to... keep the things as stable as possible.

"Whenever I go in a weekend, you just try and do exactly the same thing as what you've done in the previous weekend, learning from mistakes, obviously always striving to improve and get better, but it's always fine-tuning and very little changes in the approach that you have, and I think it's not specific to Monaco compared to others. 

"I mean, there's a different approach in free practice, but just because it's a street track. But, yeah, I don't feel like I've done anything very differently compared to the past."

Also interesting:

Is Ocon's future now in danger after the incident in Monaco? And has the track become too outdated for F1? In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Tune in below!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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