Charles Leclerc says the most important lesson that he learned in his first Formula 1 season with Ferrari was “patience”.
The Monegasque driver burst on the scene in Formula 1 in 2018 with Sauber, having won the GP3 and F2 titles back-to-back in the previous two seasons.
Leclerc would impress Ferrari enough to land himself the second seat alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2019, replacing former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
It was a wobbly start for Leclerc but he would grow as a driver throughout the year and went on to take more wins, poles and points than his four-time World Champion team-mate Vettel.
And in a Ferrari Q and A with fans on social media, Leclerc said patience was the most important thing he learned last year, admitting that before he was “a bit too impatient”.
“Patience is something which is very important and something which I struggled to have in the past,” he said.
“But I learnt with Ferrari you need it as obviously you can’t have everything right away. Sometimes you need a bit of patience to learn from the best, from Seb, and from the team and things take time to settle.
“You need to wait a little bit sometimes. I was a bit too impatient before.”
That impatience arguably led to the costly errors which creeped into Leclerc’s early driving for Ferrari, but he says those mistakes made him a better driver.
“Surely I have made some errors over the course of my career but they have also made me the driver I am today, I learned from those errors,” he explained.
“So, no, I would not change anything just because it has shaped me into the person I am now.”
Leclerc is held in very high regard at Ferrari as a star of the future, and they proved that by offering him a new contract which ties the youngster down until 2024.
But Leclerc admitted he still finds it hard to believe that he is a Ferrari driver.
“It feels good, it feels really good,” he said. “Even if it is already a year since I started driving for Ferrari, I get a special feeling every time that I put on the red shirt.
“It is still hard to believe that I am here. It is an honour and I can’t wait to get back on track.”