Charles Leclerc says he is not feeling the pressure despite the challenges of his first season driving for Ferrari. The 21-year-old is in just his second season as a Formula 1 driver, having been with Sauber last year.
He replaced Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari’s team for the 2019 season, joining up with Sebastian Vettel and has done well, finishing on the podium five times including a second place finish in Austria. After 12 races of the season so far Leclerc is fifth in the drivers’ standings, just 24 points behind Vettel.
So, a creditable performance after a big step up and Leclerc says he hasn’t felt the pressure of moving to one of the F1 leading teams. He told GPBlog.com: “The pressure, I really don’t feel it, obviously being a Ferrari driver is always a dream come true, but it also is quite a lot more work.
“You need to work as hard as possible, when you come into a top team in general. There are a lot of people, you need to be understanding and learning how to work with so many people at the beginning coming from a smaller team.
“This has been the biggest challenge for me.” The F1 season is now into its summer break, and, when it resumes next month, Ferrari’s main challenge, together with Red Bull, is to try and close the gap to the Mercedes duo at the top of the drivers’ championship.
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton, having won eight of the 12 races so far is in a healthy position at the top of the standings, 62 points clear of team-mate and closest challenger, Valtteri Bottas.
The Belgian Grand Prix is the next race in the calendar, taking place at Spa-Francorchamps on September 1. Hamilton is 2.40 to win in Belgium with Leclerc 3.80 and Vettel 3.75. Leclerc is 1.67 to achieve a podium finish.