The Star Quality of Charles Leclerc

Episode 31,  Nov 25, 2021, 10:41 AM

Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s commitment to do ‘whatever it takes’ to win the F1 title is the hot topic of the latest Flat Chat podcast from GP Racing magazine. 

An exclusive interview with Verstappen was the cover feature of November’s edition of GP Racing and the tensions in the world championship battle have grown even more feverish since it hit the news stands. GP Racing editor Ben Anderson and columnist Mark Gallagher join host Stuart Codling to debate the latest developments in what is an increasingly bitter fight.

Verstappen’s on-track conduct has come under fire but his confidence has been bolstered by his team’s determination to stand by its man. Red Bull has carried on developing its car for this season regardless of the technical reset to come in 2022 – and on top of committing resources, it has thrown its political weight behind Verstappen as well, firing damaging salvos at its Mercedes rivals.

Not yet on the same competitive page as Mercedes and Red Bull but easing ever closer, a resurgent Ferrari seems almost certain to claim third place in the constructors’ title this season. That’s not where this proud and historic team wants to be but it represents real and slightly unexpected progress after a disastrous 2020.

Ferrari’s resurgence is due in part to some remarkable performances by Charles Leclerc, cover star of December’s GP Racing. Those at the top of the organisation – including Enzo Ferrari’s own son – see Leclerc as a rightful heir to heroes of the marque’s past such as Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda and Gilles Villeneuve.

Do these comparisons cut it? GP Racing has spoken to some of Ferrari’s most senior engineers about what makes Leclerc so special – and their belief that he still has room to grow and develop into an even tougher competitor.

And as this chapter of the hybrid F1 era draws to a close, Mercedes technical director James Allison has ‘moved upstairs’ to become chief technical officer. The latest issue of GP Racing carries a full and frank interview with Allison about his fascinating career – and why he believes being fired from a job can be good for you…