Leclerc: The dream is to fight Vettel for the title

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel say only Valtteri Bottas can deny Lewis Hamilton the World Championship

Charles Leclerc has revealed that his dream is to go head-to-head with Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the Drivers’ Championship.

Leclerc arrived at Ferrari for the 2019 campaign after one year in Formula 1 with Sauber – originally he was to act as Vettel’s No.2, but it didn’t work out that way.

From the season-opener in Melbourne Leclerc showed his ability to challenge Vettel, and he would go on to finish P4 in the Championship, 24 points ahead of the four-time World Champion.

2019 came and went though with several major flashpoints between the pair. Disagreements and attempted team orders came back to bite Ferrari in both Singapore and Russia, while both drivers collided in the Brazilian GP, throwing away a potential double-podium finish.

Leclerc has been touted as a future World Champion, but even though reigning six-time champ Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are seen as his main rivals, Leclerc says his dream is to battle with Vettel for the crown.

Leclerc won Exploit of the Year at the Gazzetta Sports Awards following his fantastic debut season with the Scuderia, and speaking to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: “To be honest I thought it would have been a very hard season for me, especially with Sebastian Vettel in my team, someone who won the title four times.

“It was a big challenge but I saw it like a big opportunity for me and I took it.

My relationship with Seb is good even though people don’t believe me, my dream is to fight next year for the title, but not with Hamilton or Verstappen but with Vettel, this would mean that Ferrari would be the best car.”

For the first time in his career Leclerc is helping to develop the car he will drive for the following season, and the youngster sees that “pressure” as a good thing.

“This will be the first time that I will stay in the same car for 2 years in a row,” he said.

“This is going to be very positive even though I will have more pressure on me.”

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