In the second week of testing in Barcelona, FormulaRapida.net met Charles Leclerc, member of the Ferrari driver Academy and involved in F1 with Ferrari and Haas F1 Team. Here is the exclusive Q&A realised on Tuesday afternoon by Arnau Viñals.
- What does the Prema look like? We saw the teaser this morning that car will be white and red…
Exactly, that’s what I can say from now but it will look good, that’s for sure.
— PREMA (@PREMA_Team) 7 de març de 2017
- You went to GP3 after having been the Rookie of the season in FIAF3, and then you clinched the title in GP3 Series, so what are you expecting from GP2 Series this 2017?
I am not expecting anything special, I expect to learn a lot and learn from the experience that the team is going to give me, because they have a lot of experience, not only in GP2 if not in all the categories they compete, and they have proved that they are one of the best team’s out there at the moment. So I don’t expect nothing but the goal is definitely to win.
- It’s strange to see a guy who wasn’t racing for Prema in Formula 3, now racing for Prema in GP2. What do you think about it?
In Formula 3 I lost one title against them, so it’s good to be with them and to see which are the points I have to improve from Formula 3, in which points they were better. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
- So, this season you are not expecting to get the title, just learning…?
Well, not at all. I mean I cannot expect to win the title but it’s definitely the goal and we are working to achieve that, but expect something is a thing that I don’t want to think now.
- You were racing in Max Verstappen’s car, with Van Amersfoort Racing. What do you think about him and the team?
Max is a very good driver, he has proved so well how good he is. From Van Amersfoort is not much to say, they have been good the year I been there, we had a bit of difficulties in the second part of the season, a little bit them and a little bit me as well. But I learnt from that and last year it went better so this is good.
- Looks like Charles Leclerc is stepping up so fast. Could this be an advantage or a disadvantage to join Formula 1 as a main driver? In GP2 there were many drivers like Ericsson or Palmer who had to spend a lot of years there. What do you think if the things don’t go well?
There are drivers who took their time, and other that went a bit quicker. If you look at Max [Verstappen] he only did one year before racing in Formula 1, so it does not mean anything. If I arrive one day in Formula 1 I will just arrive more ready if I spend one year in GP2 or two –we will wait to see. But it just prepares me at my best. I take all these seasons as a process to learn as much as possible to take as much as possible experience and arrive as ready as possible in Formula 1.
- Now you are in Ferrari. How different does a Formula 1 team work instead of a junior series one?
For example, Prema is a really professional team like ART Grand Prix last year. I think they are the two top teams of the junior series at the moment. The professionality in these teams is similar to a Formula 1 team, obviously I didn’t have the chance to work as much as I did with Haas, with Ferrari. But with Haas I can say that it’s really professional as well but as I said ART Grand Prix and Prema are so professionals. Just the number of people are a little bit less but the professionality of the people are the same.