Vasseur is the right man to lead Ferrari, says Leclerc

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Fred Vasseur is the right man to bring Ferrari back to winning ways, claims Charles Leclerc after his emotional victory at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc has finally shaken off his Monaco jinx last Sunday. The Monégasque secured pole position in 2021 and 2022, but he was unable to convert his starting position into a victory due to technical issues and strategy errors which were all beyond his control.

However, the 26-year-old finally secured his first win on home soil after displaying a dominant performance all through the race weekend. Asked whether he has changed his approach for this year, the now six-time F1 race winner claimed that he has done nothing differently to how he approached the Monaco race weekend in previous seasons.

"I think the perception from the outside sometimes can change but at the end what I try to do and what I do is to try and keep the things as stable as possible and 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.

Asked whether he was hindered by a curse in recent years that saw him lose possible victories in Monte Carlo due to external factors, Leclerc said that he "never believed in the curse."

"However, it always felt very difficult in the two occasions I had to win here. One, I couldn't even start the race. The second one, we didn't make the right choice, I think. So it was very, very frustrating to lose those wins.

"The thing is that as a driver you never really know when will be the next opportunity to win and especially when it's your home race and even more so when your home race is Monaco, that is such a special track, such a difficult track and such a difficult weekend to master and to do everything perfectly which we did.

"So I knew that today (last Sunday) was another opportunity. I knew how it felt the last two times I was in this position, But I obviously really wanted to get that victory today, so there's a bit of tension. But as I've said., as soon as I put the helmet on and as soon as I get into the car I don't feel anything anymore.

"And then it's all about trying to maximise the car that you have thinking about the tyres and thinking about all the stuff that I had to think of to manage this race the best way possible. So it's more the moments before the race and before putting the helmet on", the Monegasque added.

Vasseur's role in Ferrari's upward trajectory

Ferrari has significantly improved its form in recent months after several tough years that saw the Scuderia make operational and strategy mistake.

This upturn in form is associated by the key changes that the Maranello-based outfit has gone through. The most prominent change was that former team boss Mattia Binotto left the team at the end of 2022, and his role was taken over by Fred Vasseur.

The Frenchman had a quiet start to his career at Ferrari, making hardly any changes. However, after assessing the organisation, Vasseur started to make several tweaks on different levels of the team, signing new personnel and changing position of team members.

Asked about Fred Vasseur's contribution to Ferrari's upturn in form, Leclerc said: "I have no doubts. I think since the first day he joined and that he's got everything to bring back the team to where it belongs and that means to a world championship. He's got such a clear vision of what he wants to achieve and how to achieve it.

"He doesn't lose time and that is definitely his strength and I think his vision is really good. We share it very often, on how he wants to achieve those targets. I've always been completely aligned with the way he wants to change things to get to where we want to get.

"I have no doubt that he's the right person and that he's helping the team to get there."

The podium ceremony saw the Prince of Monte Carlo, Albert II celebrate in tears. Asked about his relationship with the Prince, Leclerc said: "The Prince was very emotional. We know each other since a very long time. And actually, I remember when I was 12 or 13 years old, we got to the palace for the first time with my father to try and have some support with my career that was just starting to be a bit more serious.

"And since then he has always kept an eye on my career, has always supported me, has always had nice words in very good moments, but also in moments that were much more difficult, and I think the fact that he has seen me growing up and all the support that he has given me over the years made it quite emotional for me and also for him.