While he does expect Ferrari to make a step forward in 2021, Charles Leclerc isn’t expecting the team to be capable of challenging Mercedes.
2020 has been Ferrari’s worst season in quite some time. The Italian team currently sits in a lowly P6 in the Constructors’ Championship and looks all but set to finish the season there.
With stable regulations for next season, it will be difficult for the team to improve the car drastically. Given this, Leclerc isn’t getting his hopes up in regards to a title challenge.
“I think it will be difficult to fight for the title next year,” he told Sky Sports.
“I hope in the shortest period possible I can help the team reach our goals which is to fight for the championship again, but realistically, next year I don’t think we’ll be fighting for the title yet. I do believe we’ll take a step forward, which is the most important thing.
“We need to focus on ourselves, no miracles happen in Formula 1. Mercedes has had huge success in the past years and this year, and I’m sure that they will be very quick next year too. Now, it’s our job to catch up.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 12, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a number of late additions to the calendar this season, including races at Imola, Portimao, Mugello and the Nurburgring.
The last of them, the Turkish Grand Prix, is next up, and Leclerc says that of all the “new” tracks on the calendar, Istanbul Park is the only one he’s heading to with no prior experience of it.
Therefore, he’s expecting a challenging weekend, especially given the weather forecast.
“It’s going to be a tricky weekend,” he said.
“We’ve had quite a lot of tricky weekends this season with new tracks coming on to the calendar, which is nice – I really enjoy it – but for me, this will be the only track this year I didn’t know before coming here.
“The forecast is predicting some rain for Saturday and Sunday which should spice things up a little bit, so yeah, I can’t wait to discover the track tomorrow.”