Charles Leclerc says that while he acknowledges the importance of regularly beating Formula 1 teammate Marcus Ericsson, he will not allow it to become an “obsession”. 

Sauber rookie Leclerc has been a star of the 2018 season so far and is currently enjoying a run of four consecutive Q2 appearances as well as three points finishes from the last four grands prix. 

But the Monegasque, who continues to be linked with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari seat for 2019 following his impressive start, is focusing on the bigger picture of improving as a team rather than getting fixated on personal statistics. 

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“In the end this is important as in Formula 1 the only one who has the same car as yourself is your team mate so it’s good to be in front, but it’s not an obsession,” Leclerc said.

“I’ll obviously always work to be in front as it’s my target but we also need to work well together to push the team forward and develop the car but that’s what we did until now so I’m happy.”

Ericsson explained the reasoning behind his recent struggles - particularly in qualifying - following his initial strong start to the season and believes “powerful” set-up changes to his Sauber C37 F1 car can help him get back on level terms with his teammate. 

“We’ve done a bit of a different philosophy on the set-up since around Baku, where we have a car which is a bit more on the understeering side. There’s a lot of rotation in it and that seems to suit Charles very good, the way he drives,” Ericsson said. 

“I think for me we maybe need to have a bit of a different philosophy there so we’re reverting back a bit more to where we were at the beginning of the year, still have a strong rear end in corner entries but doing it in a bit of a different way to what we’ve done in the last couple of races

“With systems it’s more what you do with the differential, engine braking, throttle maps, brake shaping, these kinds of systems which you have in the car, which is extremely powerful. That’s where we've been mainly looking to revert a bit. These types of things can be very, very powerful.”

The Swede added he hopes a “reset” will help him regain some confidence after a difficult run of races since scoring his only points of the campaign in Bahrain.

“We sat down after Montreal, pressed the reset button and really tried to analyse what's been happening the last few weekends in qualifying,” he explained. "We’ve improved throughout the year in a way that's been suiting Charles quite well and even though I felt it's been suiting me, maybe that's not been the case.

“We've reverted more to where we've started the season, where I felt comfortable and had good one-lap performance. We've gone back more to that baseline set-up and system settings. I really hope, and think, that with that it will go back to a car to my liking, I can regain some confidence and build from that point.”



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