What kind of winter are you looking forward to? Will you still be in the simulator or will you dedicate your time to your girlfriend?
Charles Leclerc: “I will try to balance the two things (laughs). I will take some time off for her and to rest, then…”
How is your usual day in Monte Carlo?
Charles Leclerc: “When I finally get up from my bed, I have breakfast, then I think about physical training. Either in the morning or in the afternoon … When I’m not training I try to see my friends, family and stay with my girlfriend.”
Back in the days, Enzo said that it is 50% the driver and 50% the car that makes the difference. Has the % changed now?
Charles Leclerc: “Things have changed over the years, but I don’t think they are so different. The one thing doesn’t go without the other.”
Can you have a friendly relationship with the other drivers?
Charles Leclerc: “Of course. I differentiate between what happens in the car and what happens outside. A particular friend is certainly Pierre Gasly with whom I always had a great relationship before arriving in F1.”
How will things change with Carlos Sainz?
Charles Leclerc: “By now I have understood that there can be a difference in the relationship with your teammmate, on and off the track. I think Carlos sees it the same way. When we close the visor we want to be the fastest.”
Do you know him [Carlos] well?
Charles Leclerc: “Not much yet, but I think we will get along well.”
What have those two years with Vettel taught you?
Charles Leclerc: “Seeing him work with the team was very useful. His way of relating to the team, working on the details. And then he is very fast and pushed me to give my best in every single race.”
Binotto said that in 2021, it will be a more competitive Ferrari to achieve podiums. And with your help will it also be for the championship?
Charles Leclerc: “Well, in the end that’s my job. So I’m going to try, even though from where we are starting, the goal is very high. I’m also here to bring Ferrari back to winning in the shortest possible time, but it won’t be easy, as Binotto said. But I believe in it, I believe in it every time I get in the car, even in a season like the one we just had!”
Is 2020 a year to be filed away and forgotten altogether?
Charles Leclerc: “No, I wouldn’t say that. It was definitely a very difficult year in many ways. Talking about the car, it was a complicated year and we didn’t expect to struggle so much. I felt that I have grown as a driver and I think it will help us as a team. We have found some things that will help us to improve in the future. We had to accept this situation, analyse and work to improve. And I am satisfied with that, even if it was difficult. On the other hand, it would not be right to forget this season, because it is in these moments that you grow the most.”
What is the criticism that has angered you the most?
Charles Leclerc: “One that touches me more than others is arrogance, because I know very well that I haven’t changed. Both my father and Jules always told me to keep my feet on the ground. Everything in my career has gone pretty fast and in the right direction, but I’ve always kept that advice in mind. That’s why the word [arrogance] bothers me more than the others. The further I go in my career, the more I see that people want to be my friend, certainly not because they like me as a person but because I am a Ferrari driver. So I close myself a little. But that’s not arrogance, I haven’t changed from that point of view”
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