Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc believes a shortened 2020 Formula 1 season would encourage drivers to take greater risks to enhance their championship chances.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the opening 10 races of 2020 being postponed or cancelled, with F1 bosses currently putting together plans to start the season in early July with a behind closed doors Austrian Grand Prix.

F1 is still hoping to stage up to 19 grands prix but only needs to hold eight races to validate a world championship.

In the event of a shortened season with fewer races, Leclerc reckons drivers would likely to take more risks which he says could cause “some surprises.”

“With less and less races people will want to take more risks,” Leclerc said.

“So we might have some surprises and it will be exciting to watch.

“I am sure Mercedes and Lewis [Hamilton] are still the favourites, even in an eight-race championship, but probably we will all risk a bit more on track - risky strategies, risky overtakes.”

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Leclerc anticipates it will be difficult for drivers to find rhythm once the season does resume due to a prolonged break without racing.

“It is going to be difficult,” he explained.

“The mindset, to find the bubble you need to be in just before getting into the car, this is something that once you don’t do it for a long time it is difficult to get back to this state.”

Renault's Esteban Ocon said a greater emphasis would be placed on reliability as there will be "no places to DNF" in a shorter world championship campaign. 

“There’s not going to be any joker [to play],” he told Sky Sports News.

“There’s no places to DNF. It’s going to very important to finish all the races, score all the points available, and get it to the finish.”

 

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