Charles Leclerc says he and his team already knew in pre-season tests in Barcelona that something was wrong with their SF1000 car this year, but that he is proud of the way he drove his third season in Formula 1. Ferrari finished sixth this year and had the worst season since 1980 when they finished ninth out of ten constructors that season and were only better than Alfa Romeo, a year after Jody Scheckter won the 1979 title.
Apart from not achieving any victories, just like in 2016 and 2014, Ferrari did not spend a single lap in the lead, and Leclerc achieved the two best results of the season with the podiums in the first and fourth races of the season.
Leclerc finished eighth in the driver’s standings at Ferrari, which was rare among the fastest cars, 65 points ahead of Vettel, and believes this was his best season in Formula 1 even though he achieved two wins and seven pole positions in 2019.
"I think there are two sides to me this season. For my part, I think this was my best season in F1, ”said Leclerc. “I am very happy with what I have shown this season on the track. I took risks and it mostly ended positively and helped us win a lot of points.
It didn't end that way several times and we lost a few points. " "But I think the season has been very positive in terms of my performance." "I'm very happy about that and I'm looking forward to next season to see how far we can go."
Leclerc says they already saw in pre-season tests that something was wrong with the car, which lacked power and aerodynamic efficiency this year, which particularly hit them on fast tracks and tracks with a lot of acceleration from slow corners.
“After testing in Barcelona, I think we all knew something was wrong,” he said. “I think we worked very hard during the season, although it was difficult to accept the situation after the first race because it was obvious what our reality was.
We worked in a constructive way. ” "I think we have improved since then. These were small steps, but as I said, small steps in the right direction, and this is not always guaranteed in F1. I think we have learned a lot for the future from this season and we will come back stronger. "