Charles Leclerc’s Mercedes fear as Ferrari urged to make improvement

Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA in October

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Charles Leclerc has fears Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will provide a stern challenge in 2023 and has called on Ferrari to make changes. Despite Mercedes’ struggles in pre-season testing, Leclerc is still adamant the Silver Arrows will be one of the team’s major rivals in 2023.

Mercedes started to edge ahead of Ferrari by the end of last season, raising fears they could make a leap this time around. Speaking to F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Leclerc said: “I’m sure Mercedes will be in the fight.”

To combat the fears, the 25-year-old had called on his team to find improvements in strategy after last season’s woes. The Monegasque was unable to fight for the title last season after the Scuderia made a series of catastrophic calls which cost them vital points.

They included a botched pit stop which cost Leclerc a win at the Monaco Grand Prix and ex-team boss Mattia Binotto’s refusal to switch their cars at Silverstone. But, Leclerc refused to admit he would take strategic decisions into his own hands regardless of previous mistakes.

He stressed the team needed to “get better” but hinted he still trusted his engineers to make the right calls. When pushed on why he wouldn’t make the decisions himself, Leclerc stressed this could backfire and wouldn’t lead to success.

He added: “I am really vocal within the team of what I want, and this I think is the right approach. So, this I won’t change. I won’t be more vocal outside the car because I don’t care what people really think. What I care is that I’m feeling good with myself, doing the absolute best within the team to, to improve things, and this is my main focus.

“In terms of being more vocal once I’m in the car and taking more in hand the decision, I don’t think this is the way forward.

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“Because people don’t understand how little information we have in the car about the whole situation during a race. I strongly believe that if we get better as a team and when I say as a team, it’s everybody involved.

“Speaking about strategy, looking at the strategy, this is when we will be the best all together, that’s where we will win the world championship.

“We won’t win a world championship if I am making the decisions on my own in the car, this is not how it works. So, on that, I’m convinced. So I’ll keep this approach.”

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