Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says his target is to win the Drivers’ Championship in 2020, and if not he wants to be “sure” to win it in 2021.
Leclerc stepped up to a Ferrari seat for 2019, replacing veteran Kimi Raikkonen to race alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
And quickly he outperformed his No.2 driver status, going on to score more wins, poles and points than Vettel.
Leclerc is discussed alongisde Max Verstappen as the names most likely to end Lewis Hamilton’s dominance of Formula 1, and the Monegasque driver has set his sights on doing that in 2020.
And if not, then he wants the 2021 title to be a near certainty for him with the rule changes coming to the sport for next year.
“I hope in 2020 I can win the title, but I am happy to wait until 2021 if I have the title for sure,” Leclerc said at Autosport International 2020.
“It is going to be very difficult and I think 2020 will be a very important year when teams are going to invest a lot because the budget cap is coming in from 2021.
“I will try to be as ready as possible for 2021 as I think it will be a big year and hopefully we will be working properly as a team to build a right car to be able to win the championship.”
Ferrari could have taken Leclerc closer to the 2019 title if it wasn’t for a number of strategical errors, while Leclerc himself does have to take some of the blame after a couple of high-profile mistakes, such as his Q2 crash in Baku which cost him a real shot at pole.
But, Leclerc insists that he is driving for the “best team” on the grid in Ferrari, and so wants to deliver on his “ambitious” targets.
“The goal is always to target the highest possible so in case I fail to get there I only go a little bit below,” he explained.
“Basically, it is to be world champion which is very, very optimistic but I will always target very high.
“This is it and I will try to give everything to try to win. In the end I am driving, for me, the best team and I just want to give them what they deserve so it is up to me to do the job on the track.”