Charles Leclerc insists Sauber needs to remain grounded despite already surpassing its pre-season expectations so far during the first half of the 2018 Formula 1 campaign. 

The rookie has excelled in his rookie campaign, recording five points finishes to help Sauber leapfrog Williams into ninth place in the constructors’ standings, just three points behind Toro Rosso. 

While the revitalised and rebranded Alfa Romeo squad has progressed to at least the second part of qualifying with one car at every round since Azerbaijan, Leclerc - whose performances have seen him linked with Ferrari - is refusing to get carried away by Sauber’s rate of progress. 

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When asked if he feels Sauber can start to aim higher, Leclerc replied: “I think so, but again we all are aware that it’s above our expectations and we really need to keep our feet on the ground. It’s not going to be Q3 every weekend. So we will try to push.

“We need to keep working. But yeah, definitely, we really thought that it would be a big problem for us [at Silverstone] and it definitely has not been the case so we are now a bit more confident.”

Leclerc believes Sauber has benefitted from being able to successfully find a strong baseline of balance in its 2018 challenger on a consistent basis.

“I keep thinking that in terms of pure potential we are still a bit behind but we are very good at hitting the right balance in the car,” he explained. “That means the car is easy to drive and that’s why we manage to get this performance. 

“So if the others keep struggling with putting their car in the right balance then it might be better for us because we might achieve this, but once they get their car in the right balance I think we might struggle a bit more. 

“But it depends on which weekend, because we are very consistent at hitting the right balance so this is very positive for us, and now we only have to push a bit with the overall potential of the car and hopefully even better results will come.”

 

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