Leclerc still believes in Ferrari


Charles Leclerc insists that the only thing that would cause him to consider leaving Ferrari is when he loses faith in the Italian team.

While it is the team that most dream of racing for, over the years Ferrari has left far too many great drivers disappointed; Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel being the names that immediately spring to mind.

The way it is looking, Leclerc looks set to join that list of hopefuls for whom the Scuderia never delivered.

Five years with the Maranello outfit and like those illustrious names mentioned previously all he has to show for it is a handful of wins and a runner-up spot in the title race.

However, at a time the team is looking to have to settle for third in the team standings, and the Monegasque is coming under increasing pressure from his own teammate, Leclerc insists that he still believes in Ferrari.

"It's always been the red car for me, since I was young," he tells The Race. "But this is not the whole reason why I am so attached to Ferrari. I am also super grateful for everything they've done for me.

"I'm also aware that Nicolas Todt helped me from 2011," he says of his manager, son of former team boss and FIA president, Jean Todt, "but without Ferrari, I wouldn't have made it to Formula 1. And they've always been there supporting me when I needed it.

"Ferrari is just special," he adds. "Whenever you get to Ferrari, and you go around the factory and you speak to the people, you can feel something that is super special, you can understand how much passion and how much it means to them. When you go to the production, and you see how much it means for them to see the driver. It's something very strong."

Coming off the back of a strong 2022 season, much was expected of the SF-23, though the car proved to be wildly unpredictable from the outset.

"We straight away knew what our weaknesses were," he admits. "We were, at least at the beginning of the year, super wind-sensitive, which is something I guess is quite difficult to understand for fans that are not properly into Formula 1.

"There were some off-examples like Baku, where the wind was quite high, but we were super strong, which was difficult to understand.

"But then as a general trend, we were struggling quite a lot. Even in one weekend, we could see a lot of very good sessions and also very difficult sessions. That was very, very difficult for us because also as a driver, it's very difficult to set up the car in a particular way, because you will get one car one session and a very different one the one after."

While the Aston Martin challenge has faded, there remains a new threat from McLaren. Meanwhile, as ever, the Italian media is stirring the pot, and while Leclerc was disappointed to see Mattia Binotto leave the team last year, he has great faith in Frederic Vasseur.

Indeed, at a time the youngster continues to be linked with a number of other teams, Leclerc insists that he still has faith in the Scuderia, especially under its new boss, and therefore remains entirely committed.

"I view it in a way that whenever I won't believe in the project anymore, that probably will be the time when I'll have to go away," he says. "Because it's in these kinds of situations that you don't get the best out of yourself, that you don't help the team as much as it needs to be helped.

"But this is definitely not the case at the moment. I believe in the project as much as I've ever believed in the project before. Especially since Fred arrived. So for now it's clear. Then it's also clear that I want to win. But I believe in this project and I'm sure we are working in the right direction."

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 04/10/2023
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