Charles Leclerc has vowed to “choose his fights better” in 2021 in a bid to prevent a repeat of his “silly” 2020 incidents.
Leclerc proved one of Formula 1’s standout performers last year despite driving uncompetitive machinery, scoring two podiums on merit amid Ferrari’s worst season since 1980.
But aside from regularly outperforming the SF1000, Leclerc found himself involved in first lap skirmishes, crashing with team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the Styrian Grand Prix and colliding with Sergio Perez later in the year in Bahrain.
The Monegasque admitted his aggressive race starts were a result of him trying to make up for Ferrari’s deficit in straightline speed, which proved the Italian outfit’s main weakness in 2020.
Asked if he would continue to take risks to boost Ferrari’s chances at races in 2021, Leclerc said, as quoted by Motorsport.com: “Let’s wait and see where we are again because I think there are positive signs from the test.
“And then we will see for sure from Saturday onwards. But I think I’ll probably choose my fights a little bit better.
“Last year, if you take here [in the Sakhir GP] for example, I was fighting with a Red Bull, which wouldn’t have been possible to keep behind for the rest of the race.
“So that was a bit silly to have a crash at that point of the race for these type of positions that we wouldn’t have been able to keep anyway.
“But, on many other occasions it helped us to achieve better results.
“So, I will choose my fights better, but if I have to be aggressive at one point to get better results I will do it.”
Leclerc said he reflected heavily on last year’s incidents as he’d always done after making mistakes in the past to avoid replicating again in the future.
“I always try to understand why I’ve done them and try to not do them again,” Leclerc said.
“So I will still be as motivated to try and do great results.
“And we’ll have to see where we are at exactly to adapt my aggressivity on track, but of course I will try not to reproduce this type of mistake.”