Charles Leclerc’s 2019 move to Ferrari has to be one of the stories of the 2018 season, with the young Sauber driver impressing one and all and securing a move to one of F1’s elite after less than a year in Formula 1.
Leclerc will be replacing Kimi Raikkonen and will have to deal with a lot of pressure in his debut season, as Ferrari and its fans would expect Leclerc to produce results.
The young driver is well aware of the responsibilities that come with the job and is ready to take them head on.
The Monaco born driver has emphasised on the fact that he isn’t really nervous about his move to Ferrari, as he is inherently a calm person.
“I’m not a nervous person, there are tensions in this sport and at the start, there is adrenaline, but I would not say it is nervousness.
“If you ask me about the pressure, I think I can handle this because I have a mentality that I don’t feel the pressure at all. I know lots of people say, ‘yeah but the pressure in Ferrari is on another level’, but my mentality allows me to take of all the pressure.
“I don’t really take into consideration what people are expecting from me. The only thing I do is focus on myself and try to give the best possible performance on track.” Leclerc said.
When asked how he would behave if things don’t go according to plan next season, Leclerc came up with a simple thought, saying Ferrari should sack me if I don’t perform well next season.
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“I’m also very honest,” adds Leclerc.
“If I’m not good enough next year, I should be dropped by Ferrari and this would be completely understandable for me. This is how I see it.
“If I’m good enough, I deserve to stay there. If I’m not, I deserve to be left off and I think that takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.” he added.
Speaking about the Ferrari team dynamics for next year and if he would be allowed to race Vettel, Leclerc had a very simple answer, saying that at the start of the season he will be on an even keel with Vettel. As and when the season progresses, depending on which driver is fighting for the title, the other driver would take a back seat, if at all such a situation arises.
“I know lots of people are thinking this and me saying that won’t change what people think,” he adds.
“But as in every team, you start the year on an equal status and then at one point, once one driver is fighting for the championship and one is not.
“Then I believe it’s normal for the second driver to help the first one, which I’m ready to do in case I am the second driver and I don’t have my chances to win the championship. But apart from that, I don’t think I will go there to be a second driver.” he concluded.