Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc confirmed that he would welcome the prospect of battling both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for the Formula 1 Drivers’ title in the upcoming season.
The Ferrari man finished the previous championship in second place, but seemed to be involved in his first title challenger in the start of the campaign, after winning two of the three opening rounds, in Bahrain and Australia.
Unfortunately, the Maranello team gradually lost ground and momentum to Red Bull as the championship progressed as a result of poor strategy decisions and several problems with power unit reliability, which Ferrari hopes to fix for 2023.
Despite the many issues he faced during the previous season, Charles Leclerc admitted that being in a position to challenge for pole positions and race wins proved to be a positive factor for what he needs to focus on going forwards.
“It changes [things] to fight for wins, just with the mindset and all of these type of things,” Charles Leclerc said in one of his final interviews last year – “At the end, I just need to do exactly the same job as I was doing last year, which was to try and optimise the job that I have to do in the car, [to] try and improve as a team and all of this stuff. The fact that it [has been] a new car [in 2022 with the regulation changes] doesn’t change much either.” – the Monegasque driver added.
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After dominating the sport for many years, Mercedes started the 2022 campaign on the back foot, but they were able to gradually recover the pace deficit and are now set to fight Red Bull and Scuderia Ferrari for both championships in 2023.
When quizzed about the prospects of a title-duel against both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton next season, Charles Leclerc replied: “I do. I would love to see Lewis and Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari just on a par to fight for the championship. That would be amazing and, yes, I do feel ready.” – the Ferrari driver concluded.
Charles Leclerc ended the 2022 Formula One season with a P2 in the World Championship, taking three race wins and defeating the second Red Bull car of Sergio Perez by just three points.