Charles Leclerc stressed that Ferrari must “keep our feet on the ground” despite the team ending another long barren sequence in Russian GP qualifying.
After claiming a hat-trick of race victories for the first time in 11 years last weekend in Singapore, Ferrari have now been fastest in qualifying for four successive grands prix – matching a feat they last achieved in their golden era with Michael Schumacher in 2000-01.
Leclerc has achieved all four of those poles, with his margin of superiority over the field in Sochi particularly impressive – four tenths of a second.
“It definitely feels very, very special but I don’t really want to think about those stats for now,” insisted Leclerc. “I just want to focus on the job and there’s definitely a long way to go tomorrow.”
Leclerc added in the press conference: “We need to keep our feet on the ground.
“At the moment we have a good momentum and have some really good performances but at the end, it doesn’t change.
“Mercedes are still quite ahead in the overall championship so we need to keep our head down, keep working, but it seems that it’s working that way.”
Leclerc, the Ferrari ‘hero’But Leclerc is fast establishing himself as both a superstar at Ferrari – and in the wider sport.
“Leclerc is a hero at Ferrari,” said Sky F1’s Anthony Davidson. “He’s doing the business and he’s come of age.”
The 21-year-old has now taken his tally to six poles in his debut year at Ferrari, the most achieved by a Scuderia driver in a single season since Felipe Massa in 2008.
“The car has improved massively but I think my personal result shows that I’ve grown a lot since the beginning of the season,” said Leclerc.
“I’ve done quite a bit of mistakes but I’ve learnt from them and I think that’s most important. I will still do mistakes and I hope I will still learn from them. At the beginning it was quite scary for me arriving in a team like Ferrari, 21 years old and seeing how many people working for two cars.