British GP: Why the Sprint Race Reminded Charles Leclerc of the Michael Schumacher F1 Era?

Charles Leclerc started the inaugural sprint from P4 and maintained it till the end. However, after the blistering opening lap by Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard initially held up both McLarens. Thus, the Ferrari man crossed the chequered flag 11 seconds before Lando Norris who finished P5.

Meanwhile, after the sprint, Charles Leclerc revealed he enjoyed the new qualifying format. Furthermore, the sprint race reminded him of Michael Schumacher’s era, aka the refueling era when the cars could go flat out and didn’t need to worry about saving fuel.

The sprint race was one-third of a Grand Prix distance, which meant the cars carried around 70 kilograms of less fuel. However, Formula 1 banned refueling of tanks in 2010. Subsequently, in order to reduce the cost and also to increase safety, the FIA decided to ban it.

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What did Charles Leclerc say?

As quoted by Autosport, when asked about the lower weight at the start, Charles Leclerc replied: “It is a big, big difference.”

“It’s very nice. I prefer to drive in those conditions, it makes me think about refueling a little bit, because it feels very good and I think for racing also for those tires they are in a much better window and it makes us push a lot more.”

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrives at the circuit ahead of practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger.

“Seventeen laps pushing flat out is normally not something we are used to, unfortunately, so it feels good to be pushing for 17 laps,” added the Monégasque driver.

Leclerc to aim for a podium finish at British GP

The 23-year-old driver qualified P4 in the inaugural sprint race at Silverstone. In addition, Leclerc will aim to clinch his first podium of the season.

Charles Leclerc comfortably finished fourth just 3.7 seconds behind Valtteri Bottas who was one of the four drivers to start the sprint on soft compound tires. Therefore, the Ferrari driver considers he has a golden opportunity of standing on the podium this weekend.

“Today the pace was very, very good. I could stay behind Valtteri all the race, more or less, at a reasonable distance without him pulling away too much, so that is positive for tomorrow,” said Charles Leclerc in the post sprint press conference.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during sprint qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra.

“I will try to push for a podium for sure. But if we don’t make the position at the start, it will be difficult to overtake on track.”

Charles Leclerc currently sits at P6 in the driver’s standing, just two points ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz. Furthermore, the Monégasque driver will hope to bag a good chunk of points at Silverstone for Ferrari to close the gap between McLaren in the constructors’ championship.

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Can Charles Leclerc secure his first podium at the British Grand Prix? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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