While Ferrari have dropped down the pecking order in recent years, Charles Leclerc feels other Formula 1 teams will still envy the Scuderia.
Leclerc, at the start of his third season with Ferrari, featured on the podium just twice during a miserable 2020 campaign compared two race wins and a further eight podium appearances in his first year in red.
There were some signs of improvement from Ferrari in the 2021 season opener with Leclerc and new recruit Carlos Sainz both finishing inside the points, but it is already abundantly clear that it will yet another year without silverware for the Scuderia.
In an interview with Italy’s DLui Magazine, Leclerc was asked what Ferrari lack compared to their opposition but, rather focus on the negatives, he wanted to concentrate on one main positive that will carry Ferrari through any period.
“I know what they will never have and that only we have: the Tifosi,” Leclerc said.
“Millions of fans around the world. The passion that Ferrari creates, they [other teams] will always envy it.
Leclerc also spoke about how connected with Ferrari at a young age and still pinches himself over the fact that he now drives for the team in Formula 1.
“I was very young when I took the opportunity to watch the Monaco GP from a friend’s balcony.
“On the streets, I was only looking for the red car. I can’t even explain to you why. I was probably born as a Ferrari fan without knowing it.
“It felt like an unreachable dream [to one day drive for Ferrari]. So when I look at myself in red today, I am not only proud of it. It is still, every day, a total emotion.”
Leclerc was also asked what advice he would give to his younger self and said: “I would tell him to keep on dreaming, to always aim for the stars, to have determination and patience, because at times I have not been merciful towards myself.
“But you can’t forget that this is a job but also a sport. And that to be really happy, you have to love what you are and what you do.”