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Leclerc not surprised by much after first two years in F1

  • Published on 23 Nov 2019 12:10
  • comments 4
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc admits he has been surprised by very little since joining Formula 1 due to his preparation in the Ferrari Drivers' Academy.

The Monegasque driver is currently in his second year in F1, having raced for Sauber in 2018 before getting the call-up to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari for the 2019 campaign.

With one round left to go this season, the 22-year-old has picked up seven pole positions, two race wins and nine podium finishes.

Although he has not been surprised by much, Leclerc admits that the number of people that work toward two cars is "crazy" - something very different from the junior categories. 

"I don't think a lot of things have surprised me, I was very well prepared for Formula 1 thanks to the Ferrari Drivers' Academy," Leclerc said. "They helped me prepare the right way, for F1.

"Probably the number of people that are working on two cars, this is absolutely crazy. I expected a lot of people, but it is a lot more than in the junior categories.

"The progression over the last two years has been very good, but I've still got a lot to learn. It will be the first time in a long time, since the karting days, that I stay with the same team from one year to another.

"So it will be very interesting to see how I learn from one year to another and how we develop the car long-term."

'Not much missing' in order for Ferrari to win

Ferrari's opening half to the 2019 season was rich in disappointment, as it failed to take a single race victory.

However, it offered its rivals more of a challenge following the return after the summer break, with Leclerc affirming that the team can carry the momentum into 2020 and keep up the test. 

"The aim is always to win, it was the aim this year and it's the aim for next year and all the other years," Leclerc said. "What is missing, I don't think much. 

"We just need to put everything together. I think it's extremely important from my side, I'm new to the team. Races after races, we have improved as a team.

"The second half of the season has been much more positive than the start. So from my side, that's what I'm looking at and I hope the progression will continue."

Replies (4)

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  • Regardless, they have A Lot of homework to do after this season. They dropped the ball significantly in terms of car philosophy. I get risky, I get brave, but they had a great car philosophy. But even philosophy aside, there just is too much rotten for Ferrari to win another title currently. I genuinly think Red Bull is more likely to win another title than Ferrari, they just need more power. There is just too much rotten at Ferrari.

    • + 0
    • Nov 23 2019 - 16:08
    • Rotten might be a little too strong, but definitely dysfunctional. They just can't get out of their own way. Having lived in Italy for a couple of years I think that part of their problem is company culture. The best they ever did was when they brought in an outsider, Ross Brawn, and since he left they have never risen back up to the same standard.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2019 - 19:52
    • I dunno, honestly I feel all that differs Ferrari from Williams is money. In that regard I wonder how well Ferrari will do with those pretty severe budget caps coming up.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2019 - 20:51
  • I'm sure his biggest surprise was the politics at Ferrari, and how he has clearly not treated as an equal to Seb. And also how big of a poor sport Seb is turning out to be. He certainly looks past his prime and has been making a lot of bonehead moves last season and this season. VET has shown that he does not respond well to younger teammates performing better than him. Palmer has done a pretty good post race analysis about the crash in the last race. Never was too impressed with Palmer as a driver but watched a few of his post race summaries and he has some good driver insights and seems a bit more objective than Rosberg.

    • + 0
    • Nov 23 2019 - 19:33

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  • Team Ferrari
  • Points 303
  • Podiums 10
  • Grand Prix 42
  • Country Monaco
  • Date of b. Oct 16 1997 (22)
  • Place of b. Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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