Formula One rookie Charles Leclerc has admitted that the amount of buttons on a Formula One steering wheel compared to Formula One can be quite intimidating and that the step-up from the junior divisions is massive, but remains positive of improvement after a lukewarm opening Grand Prix.
The 20-year-old is a member of the Ferrari Driving Academy and has been tipped for a future role with the Prancing Horse should he continue to develop at his current rate.
Last week he made his Formula One debut in the Australia GP and finished, admirably, in 13th place just three positions shy of gaining some points for Alfa Romeo Sauber. He is the current Formula Two champion, and has confessed that the step up to the pinnacle of motor racing is a big one, especially due to the many buttons and functions available on the more advanced wheel.
"In the junior formulas, OK, you step up, you have more power and more downforce,” said Leclerc.
"This I managed to get to speed [with] quite quickly. But to be honest in Formula 1 there are so many other things that are new, so many people around and especially so many buttons, it’s crazy. And this helps also when you know what you can do with these buttons, it’s so powerful.
"The potential of improvement on that is huge and this will come with experience."
Leclerc insists that he would have gained a better time last Sunday if not for a mistake suffered as early as the first lap which threw him out of his rhythm.
"The gap is not truly representative because I did a mistake,” the young driver said of the time gap to his team-mate, Marcus Ericsson.
“But at the end it happens, he probably had some things to improve also so it’s just the way it is at the moment.
"I will try to put everything together next time. [Qualifying] was one of my strong points last year in Formula 2. But Formula 1 is a big step up. And as I said also not being helped with the conditions, I didn’t manage to put everything together."
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