Leclerc's life at Sauber not easy alongside outperforming Ericsson


Charles Leclerc hasn't enjoyed an easy introduction to Formula 1 this year, having been outperformed so far by a team mate who was seen as an easy target for the rookie.

The 2017 Formula 2 champion is learning the ropes of Grand Prix racing while Marcus Ericsson is almost a season veteran by comparison given his five years of F1 experience.

As highly rated as the Ferrari junior may be, he has suffered at the hands of the Swede since the season kicked off in Melbourne. Last Sunday, Leclerc finished 12th while Ericsson delivered a stunning drive and two championship points to Sauber.

"I honestly think he's a very good driver," Leclerc told

"He has a bad reputation but I don't think he deserves it at all. In Melbourne and in Bahrain, he's very fast, and it's difficult for me.
"But I can learn a lot from him. This is good, and I hope it stays like that."

In hindsight, Leclerc believes his interests in Bahrain would have been better served had he not gambled on a one-stop strategy.

The Monegasque was forced to pit just three laps into the race after flat-spotting his tyres, but excessive degradation of his medium rubber brought him back in later.

"They saw I was pushing for it [a one-stop strategy] so we tried it," said Leclerc."

"I paid for it the hard way because my team-mate scored points with a normal strategy"

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