Charles Leclerc admits it took him almost a year to get used to the dynamics of a big F1 team like Ferrari and believes he has come a long way since joining the Maranello team in early 2019. Leclerc had a great Formula One 2018 debut season at Alfa Romeo Sauber in which he outclassed Ericsson for whom it was his fourth season in F1, which helped him impress Ferrari who signed him for 2019.
At Ferrari, Leclerc managed quickly and already in the second race of the season in Bahrain won the pole position and led in the race to engine failure, and finished the season ahead of teammate Vettel with two wins and as many as seven pole positions, the most of all drivers that season.
Although he quickly showed his maturity and speed, Leclerc says it took him a long time to get used to working within such a large organization and understand how certain problems are solved. “I felt comfortable from the start,” Leclerc told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
"I had a lot to learn, but I felt like I already knew it when it came to social relationships." “But to feel comfortable with the way a great team works? Probably a year, I would say. ” “It took me almost a year to understand the exact dynamics of the team, how to deal with the problems and how to react to them.
Yes, it probably took me about a year. ” "It's a lot of time. Yes, yes, it’s a very, very long time, but it’s very, very interesting. It seems a lot shorter when you experience it and you can feel all the steps.
” “Every time you learn something and apply it, you become better at understanding how everything works. And you feel a lot more in control of the situation. ”
2019 vs 2021
Leclerc says he feels like a better driver than he was in early 2019 when he came to Ferrari.
“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress as a driver, as a person,” he said. “How much better am I? It’s hard to quantify, but I definitely feel like a better driver compared to the time I arrived.
We go through so many details after every difficult race, but also after a good one. ” "But it's very interesting. This is a sport I always learn in and I think all drivers still learn every time they get in the car.
” Leclerc has two pole positions and one podium from Silverstone this year, and is in seventh place in the drivers' standings, three points behind teammate Sainz.