Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli , head of Formula Medicine, which developed a mental training program to prepare youngsters for professional sport, began working with Charles Leclerc when the Ferrari driver was just 13 years old.
The Monegasque and one of his current rivals, Max Verstappen, coincided at the time of karting, and on occasion they collided with each other, causing them to leave after things got out of hand. Dr Ceccarelli said the current world leader in motorsport’s top flight had trouble controlling his nerves but had improved over the years.
“Charles [Leclerc] had a hard time controlling his enthusiasm as a driver, which led him to have problems with Verstappen, and once he pushed his teammate off the track in the championship,” the Italian told Il Foglio.
“He thought it wasn’t fair the way Max had behaved,” Ceccarelli continued. “So he wanted to get back at him after the finish line, Charles couldn’t control his nerves, that was his weakness, and we’ve worked a lot on it, I think you can see the result.”
The Ferrari driver has not been able to fight the Dutchman for the title in recent seasons due to the performance of his car, but at the start of 2022 it seems that he has the weapons to battle against his rivals.
At the moment, Leclerc has a great advantage over the rest of the grid, and the fact that the F1-75 is competitive works in his favor: “The car is what has changed the most compared to last year, for me It’s like it was custom made for him.”
“He has regained his confidence and can go to the limit without taking serious risks,” said Dr. Ceccarelli. “A winner like Charles, if he feels he doesn’t have the right car for him, he loses confidence and gets frustrated, risks more and gets out of his comfort zone.”
“We’ve seen a lot of great drivers make mistakes when they were young in cars that weren’t really competitive. They don’t accept that, but now that he has a car capable of winning, we can see the champion making a difference,” he added.
“Charles can give everything at the moment, he is attacking without any senseless movement. These days he has the peace of mind of driving a car that can do anything,” said the Italian.