Charles Leclerc talks about the change in Ferrari atmosphere after F1 2020 slump, as he adds on no clear leader even with his team experience.
After the high of 2019, it all came crashing down in 2020, when Ferrari found itself in a slump due to the engine technical order they had. It ruined their year, which hurt the team atmosphere as well – which intensified with the pending departure of Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc seemed to be the only stable person within the team as speculations gripped Mattia Binotto even. However, with the year now gone, Ferrari is looking at redemption in 2021 and beyond, with the Monegasque feeling the change, as well, in terms of mindset.
“I think at first there was a strange atmosphere in 2020, where we realised the reality of things that was quite a lot worse than what we expected,” said Leclerc in the press conference. “There was a time, where it was not not great, but very quickly the mentality changed and there was a huge motivation to try and come back to where we want to be.
“I think it is not the change with Carlos coming in. Of course, it is good to have him as he is bringing experience from other teams, that is very interesting. He’s also giving us new worlds to explore. I guess the mentality of the team itself is still as motivated as last year and is really willing to push to have better things,” summed up Leclerc.
With Sainz coming in, it makes Leclerc a de-facto leader of Ferrari, but he feels it isn’t the case. The prime focus for the Monegasque is to work with the Spaniard and help it grow and improve it results, not just in 2021, but also crucially in 2022, as well.
“I’ve spent more time in Ferrari than Carlos did, so I have more experience with Ferrari,” said Leclerc. “I don’t think there’s a clear leader and I think Mattia made it clear. But that’s good. I am here in F1 to fight against the best and I think Carlos is extremely talented and we’ll just push each other to perform better every time we are on track.
“But as the team mentioned, there’s no clear number one or number two. Talking about Sainz, he is a great guy, I think I’ve never spent as much time as I did with him before the start to the season as I did with other teammates. We are getting on very very well, and working well together.
“He’s also very talented, and it’s interesting to see now the data that he’s in the car and comparing it, even if it’s quite difficult because conditions changes quite a lot from morning to afternoon but they are interesting things to see and I can’t wait to be in the car at the same time as him to configure it properly,” summed up Leclerc.
Here’s Charles Leclerc on SF21 and Ferrari engine
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