Charles Leclerc says he wants to wait to test Alfa Romeo Sauber’s developments at the Monaco Grand Prix before predicting regular points finishes in his rookie Formula 1 year.

The Monaco-born driver has secured back-to-back points for his team having battled to 10th place at the Spanish Grand Prix to follow up his headline-grabbing sixth place last time out in Azerbaijan.

Leclerc feels Sauber’s huge performance jump from last year, aided by its Alfa Romeo partnership and latest-specification Ferrari engines, gives him better opportunities to demonstrate his skills in his maiden F1 season but is resisting the urge to alter his targets to regular points until his home race.

Leclerc wants Sauber to prove its pace at a downforce-dependent circuit like Monaco before predicting consistent top 10 targets for the rest of the 2018 season.

“It’s great that we came back and now we are closer to the midfield,” Leclerc said. “Now our target is to go into this midfield all the time and in qualifying, so we will need to work more on that but I’m pretty sure if we keep working like this then we will get this target.

 “I think you can show more when you have the possibility to fight with other cars but when you are last and second last it is difficult. Even if you are doing an amazing job it’s not like points are close and possible for you. So it’s always a very difficult position to be in.”

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Leclerc lost two places late on during the Spanish race to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Force India’s Sergio Perez after suffering with heavy front-left tyre graining but was content with taking consecutive points finishes – Sauber’s first since Felipe Nasr achieved the feat in 2015 – as it demonstrates the team’s progress.

“At the end it was very difficult for me to keep him [Alonso] behind because I had the front left that was completely done, same with Sergio, my front left was destroyed,” he said. “I had graining and blistering and everything, so it as yeah very bad.”



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