'Killer instinct' Leclerc's greatest attribute, but also a curse

Image: TeamTalk
Image: TeamTalk

While he feels he has a “killer instinct” that other drivers don’t have, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says he must learn to “control” it.

The Monegasque driver joined Ferrari for 2019 in what was only his second season in Formula 1, but he certainly didn’t disappoint.

He would go on to take more points, poles and wins than his four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, cementing himself as a star for the future.

But there were also some high-profile errors on Leclerc’s part, such as his Q2 crash in Baku that cost him a chance of pole and his crash in the wet German GP, while his aggressive driving in Monaco was clearly going to cost him and did after a Ferrari error eliminated him in Q1.

Leclerc also attracted some unwanted attention for his use of team radio in 2019, even admitting himself that he needed to just “shut up” and drive.

READ: Gunning for the F1 title - Leclerc ready to fight Hamilton in 2020

Never settle

So unsurprisingly while he feels he has a “killer instinct” that allows him to never settle for less, he also knows he must “control” it with the experience he gains in the future.

Leclerc told Motor Sport Magazine: “As soon as I’m in the car I have that killer instinct. I don’t want to finish second or third, fourth or fifth; those places don’t matter. I think it’s a strength but it can also be a weakness.

“Some of the mistakes I’ve done this year are part of this mentality because I gave it all in moments that I could have just taken less. Not everyone will like me, but it’s the way I am. This mentality has some positive aspects but can hurt in some other moments. I need to control it. With experience it will come.”

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