Charles Leclerc says he is likely to take a riskier approach to racing if the 2020 Formula 1 championship is short as there would be greater potential to win the title.
An initial 22-race calendar was announced for this year but amid the COVID-19 pandemic Formula 1 has been targeting upwards of 15 races this season. With nine races so far postponed or cancelled and a number of European countries banning major events for the majority of the summer, there is an increasing likelihood that the season will feature fewer races, and Leclerc says that could be to the benefit of the fans as well as himself.
“Obviously having less and less races people will want maybe to take a bit more risk,” Leclerc said. “So yes, we might have some surprises and it might actually be quite exciting to watch.
“I hope so, if it means that it will be me (that benefits) then I would be very happy! It’s difficult to predict, I’m pretty sure Mercedes and Lewis (Hamilton) are still the favorites even if it’s only an eight-race championship so it’s going to be very difficult to beat them, but probably I will risk a bit more on track with risky strategies and risky overtakes. Maybe it will pay off, maybe it will not.”
Ferrari appeared to be behind the likes of Mercedes during pre-season testing and has been unable to address car issues while much of Italy is in lockdown, so Leclerc sees his role as driver as being even more valuable this season in order to help improve the team’s performance.
“I still believe we have been struggling a bit during testing so we need to catch up. Whether we will be able to or not I don’t know, but last year we had a good progression throughout the year. I think we need to keep working as we did last year and I’m pretty sure the results will come.
“It’s going to be a difficult season for everyone because as soon as it starts it’s not going to stop, and we won’t have any breaks to develop the car more than the others. So I think the work on track will be extremely important and more than it has been any other years, because we will spend a lot of time on track whenever the season will restart.
“It’s going to be very important to be focused and ready from the first race onwards as drivers to be able to give the right feedback to the team and to try and help the team in the right direction straight away.”