Charles Leclerc has made it clear he understands the pressures and expectation of driving in Red next season. The soon-to-be Ferrari driver says if he doesn't perform well enough "I should be dropped by Ferrari."
It's unusual for Ferrari to opt for a young driver. Leclerc, who turned 21 yesterday, has spent just the single season in F1 before getting the promotion. The current Sauber man has picked up 21 points in 2018.
Speaking in an interview on the F1 podcast Beyond the Grid, Leclerc explains his own expectations for 2019.
"I'm very honest. If I'm not good enough next year, I should be dropped by Ferrari and this would be completely understandable for me," Leclerc said.
"This is how I see it. If I'm not 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."
Being followed by passionate Italian F1 fans, Leclerc says he's aware of the pressures. But it's not just the fans he has to worry about. This season, the Italian media have been ripping into Sebastian Vettel for the mistakes on the track. Pressure to perform is everywhere.
"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 off all the pressure," added Leclerc.
“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.”