Charles Leclerc believes some of his critics have forgotten his form in the lead up to teammate Carlos Sainz’s victory at the Australian Grand Prix.

Sainz, who will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 F1 season, has taken Ferrari’s two most recent F1 wins.

Consequently, some fans have questioned why Sainz is being replaced, but also why Leclerc hasn’t been the driver to take those two victories for Ferrari.

Prior to Sainz’s victory in Australia, Leclerc had been in scintillating form, qualifying on the front row in seven consecutive races.

Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, while Leclerc conceded that he must do better to capitalise on any race winning situations, he was quick to point out his performances before Australia.

“I mean, in our life I say that I am happy with that, of course not,” Leclerc said. “But wins are important, points at the end of the season are even more so. “However, I want to win and I want to be back at winning as soon as possible.

“Carlos has done an amazing job in the two opportunities we had, and now it’s up to me to react and to hopefully win the next one. That’s the target, but I am working flat out for that.

“At the end of the day, I think in Formula 1 very quickly people tend to forget and everything is based on the last race. But if I look at my last eight, nine races, I think they have been at a very good level. However, in most of those races, the car was not possible to win. But it’s up to me to be there whenever there is the opportunity that arises.

“And the fact is that I haven’t been doing so in Singapore and in the last race. But I will keep pushing, of course. However, the fact that Carlos won’t be in Ferrari next year doesn’t add pressure or anything. My goal is always to try and win.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne,

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3,…

Leclerc dismissed any external reasons for his defeat to Sainz in Australia, owning up to a mistake in how he tackled qualifying.

“I think in qualifying it was very clear that it was just myself,” he added. “I’ve had some very, very good qualifying before that. I think it was the first seven rows in a row, which is a good thing. However, in Australia I didn’t do a good job on the Saturday.

“Then on Sunday I’m less worried. I think the second stint was quite a bit compromised by our race situation. We had to pit early because of Lando and Oscar at the beginning of the race.

“And then the second stint was very long, so of course it was a bit more difficult to manage that second stint. But I think that was more down to what I had done wrong on the Saturday.”