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Frustrated Leclerc resets targets: 'I just want to finish a race'

Charles Leclerc has said that he is not focusing on long-term goals and has simply targeted finishing races after crashing out of the Australian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc says his main priority is "just finishing a race" after retiring from two out of the opening three rounds of the 2023 Formula 1 season. The Ferrari driver has amassed just six points that were scored in Saudi Arabia, which is in stark contrast to the 68 he earned from winning two of the opening races in 2022. A dejected Leclerc - after crashing out on the opening lap of the Australian Grand Prix - wants to have a straightforward weekend with the team before focusing on any long term goals for the season. "I think instead of thinking long term targets, I think just finishing a race without any penalties or issues or whatsoever is a priority," said Leclerc to media, including RacingNews365.com . "Then take the momentum and see what's possible."

Ferrari had a "completely unexpected" problem occur with his car in Bahrain which forced him to retire, then he was forced to take an unprecedented 10-place grid penalty at the second round due to reaching the limit on power unit components. Then on the opening lap of the Australian GP he was hit by Lance Stroll, forcing him off into the gravel and out after five corners. The team has admitted that it needs to make updates to their car if they want to close the gap to Red Bull, with Carlos Sainz claiming they will need to change their car concept. Leclerc is more hopeful that their work understanding the setup in practice sessions will pay off later in the season. "I wouldn't go as far as Carlos. But still it's clear that we need to improve the car," he explained. "I will wait and see because I think could be very interesting. What we see during this race, having changed quite a bit of things in terms of setup, I think it's been beneficial for our race pace."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 1