'Stupid' testing error leaves Leclerc fuming

Charles Leclerc (MON) Sauber C37 stops on the circuit.
© XPB 

New Sauber driver Charles Leclerc was kicking himself after making a 'stupid' mistake on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The 20-year-old Monegasque rookie hit the wall in turn 11 early on Friday morning, causing damage to the C37. It meant he lost half a day's track time in the car.

“It hasn’t been a very good day for me,” Leclerc said. "I have made an error that has cost me quite a lot.

“I was pushing. I think the pace was very good on the lap I was doing. But obviously I did not finish it. Completely my fault.

"Obviously I touched the wall. So it was not like a normal spin, but I touched the wall a little bit.

"I will learn from it," he said. "We lost a bit of time on track because of me and this is something that should not have happened.

"It’s a bit stupid from my side to do it so early in the day, but it happens.

"I am a little bit angry with myself," he admitted. "I’ve had some good information from this, I’ve learnt a lot and there is still a lot to learn."

Leclerc also had a couple of other spins during the eight days of testing, but none that did any lasting damage to the car.

“The two other are nothing special," he said. "I spun and everything is still quite new for me.

"I tried to push the limit, which is normal in testing," he continued. "I will obviously be a lot more disappointed with myself if this happens in the race in Melbourne!"

The next time that Leclerc will climb into the car and head out on track will be in Australia in two weeks time. The reigning Formula 2 champion insists he's fully prepared for what's to come.

“I feel ready, definitely,” he said. “These two tests have taught me a lot.

“Obviously Formula 1 is still pretty new to me," he continued. "On the performance side I think we are there. I think I’ve improved a lot in this test. I feel ready for Melbourne.

“I obviously had never done any race runs before two days ago," he added. "I did my second one today - actually not even a full one because of my crash this morning. But I’ve learned a lot on the race runs."

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