Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc exclusive interview with 7Corriere (Corriere della Sera)
Did you set yourself a deadline to win the F1 World Championship?
Charles: “As soon as possible!”
Where do you need to grow / improve?
Charles: “Especially in the experience. In the feedback I give to the technicians and in the understanding of the structure of the car.”
You always seem calm, how do you control your emotions?
Charles: “It is not a gift of nature. As a child it was my weak point: I was too emotional and wasted energy on useless things, getting angry. I worked with specialists there and I improved a lot.”
Your boss Mattia Binotto seems like a quiet type. Does he never get angry?
Charles: “That’s not true. Mattia is a tough guy when he wants to be, but he is good at managing emotions. And that is what a team needs.”
Besides the races, what do you talk about with Binotto?
Charles: “If we only talked about cars, we would go mad. We talk about his children, who are close to me in terms of age, and we challenge ourselves in foosball. They are spectacular games.”
Do you prefer football or playstation?
Charles: “Both, but I love the simulators.”
After more than half a season with Ferrari what rating do you give yourself?
Charles: “I find it hard to give myself a rating, but to be honest I’m happy. It was not an easy challenge to join an important team in the second year of F1. I needed to adapt at the beginning, but I grew fast with the team. I must continue to focus on my weaknesses and improve.”
Did Bahrain or Austria (beaten by Verstappen) hurt more?
Charles: “In Austria Max had more and I struggled to keep up with him. In Bahrain it was a bit difficult to accept, but in the end as I have been racing since I was 3, I immediately turned the page. In this sport you always go for the limit, it is normal that a piece breaks down. You know this risk exists, otherwise you stay at home.”
Tell the truth: you and Verstappen can’t stand each other?
Charles: “But no! As children we didn’t even say goodbye because we confused the driver with the person, we were immature. Now fortunately, we are no longer mixing the two things.”
Are the errors that you made weighing on you?
Charles: “Yes, because I am hard on myself. Not only the one in Germany where I crashed in the wet, even in Baku I made a mistake and I felt it so much. It always happens like this when it’s my fault.”
If you could take a quality from a driver of the past and put it in your helmet, who would you choose?
Charles: “Senna, for the talent. He was a phenomenon.”
What quality would you take from Hamilton?
Charles: “Consistency. The ability to always know how to express the maximum. Mental strength. Everyone can make a good lap, the difference is putting so many together when it counts. I’m training to achieve that.”
It is said that for every driver to drive a Ferrari is a dream. What does it feel like to live it?
Charles: “It is not easy to describe what I felt the first time. Being a Ferrari driver also requires concentration, determination, dedication. In time you get used to it, but every time you wear the Ferrari uniform you get a special feeling. Then you get to the track, you get into a bubble and you only think about driving at your best.”