Charles Leclerc believes recent updates brought to Ferrari’s SF1000 have suited his approach as he recorded his best Formula 1 result for over two months.
Ferrari has struggled throughout the 2020 campaign, reaching a nadir at the power-hungry Spa-Francorchamps and Monza circuits, but has since shown an upturn in form.
That resurgence has been fronted by Leclerc, who has ensured that Ferrari has had the third-fastest package in qualifying at three of the last four events.
Ferrari has brought updates to recent events and finalised its current development package with refinements to the SF1000’s diffuser in Portugal.
While Ferrari has stressed its main focus is on correlation, and to improve its prospects for 2021, Leclerc maintained fourth in race trim to secure his and Ferrari’s best result since Silverstone.
“I feel quite at ease with the car at the moment,” said Leclerc.
“We’ve brought some updates, but they always went in the right direction for my driving style. And this helped me to perform better on tracks.
“So surely I feel like I’ve improved since last year. And I feel I’m driving well, but I just keep focusing on myself and try to improve myself races after races. And for now it seems to work pretty well.”
Sebastian Vettel has trailed Leclerc for the last nine qualifying sessions and has scored only two points across the last six events.
Vettel, who will join Aston Martin for 2021, accepted that he cannot extract the potential from the SF1000 that Leclerc has been able to unearth.
“I’ve been racing for a long time, and sometimes you have cars going your way, sometimes not your way,” he said.
“You know, you’re trying to adapt as soon as you can. And that’s something you know, you always have to do and I’m doing also this year, so nothing has changed in this regard.
“But it’s about how much grip you feel is there and how much then you’re using. So in this regard, maybe Charles is about to feel different grip or different area of the car that I’m not feeling.
“Clearly, I’m not going as fast and not able to feel for whatever reason.”