Leclerc admits it was an "intimidating challenge" joining Vettel at Ferrari

13-01-2020 16:20
by Matt Gretton
General
Leclerc admits it was an intimidating challenge joining Vettel at Ferrari

Charles Leclerc had spent just one season in Formula 1 before being promoted to the Ferrari role by replacing Kimi Raikkonen and joining a four-time world champion. Flash forward 21 races and the man from Monaco managed to finish ahead of Sebastian Vettel after showing some quality performances on both Saturday's and Sunday's. 

At any stage in anyone's career, driving for Ferrari is a pressure job. There's a whole country with high expectations as well as a reputation to maintain. Leclerc was flung in as young driver, different to the normal option the Italian's usually opt for. Leclerc admits this was an intimidating experiance. 

"I didn't know what to expect, starting with Ferrari. First year with Ferrari is always intimidating once you're arriving in the team next to Seb who is a four-time world champion. It was a big challenge for me, but I've learnt a lot from Seb and in the beginning of the season at the first few races I learnt a lot and I made a few mistakes but I always learn from these," Leclec said in an interview on the Autosport podcast. 

New contract

Following a season which saw Leclerc step on the podium 10 times, winning twice and picking up two more pole positions than eventual champion Lewis Hamilton, Leclerc was awarded with a mega contract extension. 

In one of the stories of the winter, Leclerc was given a deal which would see him race in red until at least 2024. Leclerc says this stability is "great". 

"It's great. It's the first time in my career that I have such a long contract, it's good to have some stability and to know what is going to happen in the next couple of years. On that, I am relaxed in my head and fully focused on the job and I think it's a great challenge for Ferrari and myself to build an excising future," Leclerc added. 

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