Charles Leclerc has spoken about his “obsession” for Ferrari and feels it’s his “responsibility” to pull them out of their difficult situation.
The Scuderia warned pre-season that their SF1000 wasn’t strong enough to take the fight to Mercedes at the top, and that has certainly been the case with Ferrari spending more time battling the leading midfield teams such as Racing Point, McLaren and Renault.
Their decision to announce that four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel would leave at the end of the year, before this season even began, also provided an unwanted distraction.
Especially since Vettel went on to bust the team’s cover story that it was a mutual decision – in reality it was all Ferrari who are feeling the squeeze financially as a result of the pandemic.
But for all the negativity Leclerc has been a real positive for the team this season, scoring two podiums in the Austrian and British GPs, when in terms of pure pace Ferrari probably had no business being there.
And the Monegasque driver, who has come through the Ferrari system to join their F1 team ahead of the 2019 campaign, feels a “responsibility” to drag them up and out of their current struggles.
“The red car, even before I knew it was called Ferrari, was my obsession, ” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“An honor certainly. And certainly also a great responsibility because Ferrari remains Ferrari. It was a dream to get here. And I am aware that it is the dream of many to arrive in Maranello.
“So I feel responsible for bringing Ferrari’s name higher up. This moment is not easy on the track, there is a lot of work to do.
“But it is interesting to have such a long common project. Lets work hard and try to build something interesting, a new cycle.
“Certainly driving a Ferrari is, at the same time, a dream come true, a huge responsibility and a great honor.”
Leclerc, often talked about as a future World Champion, is tied down to a five-year contract at Ferrari which will keep him at the team until 2024.
He will be looking to add to his two podiums this year at the upcoming 70th Anniversary Grand Prix as Formula 1 races at Silverstone for the second weekend in a row.
Leclerc was able to finish P3 in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, holding off Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages after being promoted into the top three when Valtteri Bottas suffered a tyre failure whilst running P2.