Charles Leclerc aware of 'big question mark' over him at Ferrari in 2019

Ferrari's new signing Charles Leclerc says he is aware there's "a big question mark for a lot of people" over whether he's ready for a top Formula 1 seat

Charles Leclerc aware of 'big question mark' over him at Ferrari in 2019

Leclerc has been drafted in as Kimi Raikkonen's replacement for 2019 on the heels of a stellar rookie season with Sauber, and will become the second-youngest Ferrari F1 driver in history.

Asked whether he could take the fight to four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel the way reigning champion Lewis Hamilton did with Fernando Alonso at McLaren in his rookie season back in 2007, Leclerc said: "This is a big question mark for a lot of people, whether I'm ready or not.

10 reasons Ferrari has signed Leclerc

"Whether I'm ready or not, I can't tell - but I think that if you see Lewis, he arrived the first year and straight away was there [at the top].

"Experience is always a plus obviously, but if you are good enough on one seat, you are good enough [for a top seat] from the first year you arrive in Formula 1.

"And if next year I don't have the results good enough to stay in Ferrari, then it would be normal that I downgrade, but then I don't deserve a Ferrari seat. This is how I see things."

Leclerc said he did not expect to be afforded the luxury of a learning year at Ferrari.

"Definitely I need to deliver. I'm not going to Ferrari to learn," he said.

"I've had a very good season this year where I could learn the most of it, and next year is to perform, the way it should be once you are going in a big team.

"Not saying I won't learn anything anymore - because I have so much to learn still, and I can still improve a lot in a lot of things, but yeah, definitely I will be a lot more ready than I was in the beginning of the year."

The Monegasque says Ferrari's current SF71H challenger is a title-calibre car, and insists he will be targeting the drivers' championship in his first year with the team if its 2019 car is as competitive.

"It is difficult to speak now, but my target is to do the job best possible with the car we'll have," he said.

"This year they have, I think, a winning car, to win the title, and if next year is the same, it [the goal] will be then to win the title, which is definitely a big thing.

"I will have to improve a lot as a driver, and yeah, it [the goal] will be to take the best result possible."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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