Leclerc: ‘Team choice affects career a lot’

Date published: April 7 2021 - Michelle Foster

Charles Leclerc

With only one team taking home the top prize in the past seven seasons, Charles Leclerc concedes choices made off the track “affect your career a lot”.

Announcing he was leaving McLaren for Mercedes at the end of the 2012 Formula 1 season, many doubted the wisdom in Lewis Hamilton’s decision to head to Brackley.

He proved his critics wrong, winning his first grand prix for the Silver Arrows in Hungary in a season in which McLaren didn’t even feature on the podium.

The rest is history with Hamilton winning six titles over the course of the next seven years, the Brit chasing an unprecedented eighth this season.

But while Hamilton’s career choice proved to be a winner, others seem to often make the wrong call such as Fernando Alonso, who joined Ferrari when it was on a downward slope while the less said about his 2015 move to McLaren the better.

As for Leclerc, he went from Sauber to Ferrari, committing his future to the Scuderia until the end of 2024.

That move has yet to yield the success that either the Monégasque or Ferrari had dreamed of with Leclerc winning two races in 2019 and none last season.

While Ferrari slumped to their worst showing in decades, P6 in the championship, Mercedes romped unchallenged to their seventh championship double.

He acknowledges that what team a driver races for, determines whether they will be fighting for titles or not.

“It’s true that the choices you make off the track affect your career a lot,” he told the Italian addition of Motorsport.com, “but as far as I’m concerned I’m very happy to be a Ferrari driver.

“It’s always been a dream of mine, and my challenge is to give my contribution to bring this team back to to win.

“I am aware of the importance of the choices, but today my only goal is to get back to the top with Ferrari, and I’m sure there is the potential to get where we want to be.”

Charles Leclerc

Show your support for Charles Leclerc with his official merchandise collection on the Formula 1 store

The 23-year-old also touched on the reactions the drivers face for a good or bad result, going from hero to zero or the other way around in the space of a day or a week.

“It is part of the game,” he said.

“I am learning season after season that I have to answer above all to myself, I know when I did a good job and when I could have done better.

“Then there are moments when you know you have given your all and done very well, but it is not perceived from the outside, and this can sometimes be frustrating.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.