“I Felt Quite Lost” – Charles Leclerc Reflects on His Struggles After Joining Ferrari F1

Published 08/16/2021, 8:35 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Third placed finisher Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks dejected in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)


Ferrari has been a childhood dream for Charles Leclerc. “The first time I knew I was going to be a Ferrari driver, I did not believe it.” The driver is now in his third season with the Italian outfit. While the admiration for the marque is just as high, Charles admits to having taken some time adjusting to the team. Previously a driver at Alfa Romeo Sauber, Leclerc reveals it took him almost a year to get used to Ferrari.

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Remembering his first day with the team, the Monegasque recalled, ” I was very, very impressed by how many people were working on the cars. In Ferrari, we are a lot of people. In the beginning, I felt quite lost, to be honest. I didn’t know to who I should speak to if I have that or that issue. But thankfully, they really helped me.”  

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

In conversation with Thomas Clarkson, Leclerc discusses his initial troubles with the team. “I had a lot of things to learn, but it felt like I’d known them straight away–on the social relationships. Then to feel comfortable in the way such a big team works? Probably nearly a year, I will say.” 

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Shifting from a smaller team like Sauber Alfa Romeo to one of the big four was difficult. It took Leclerc “nearly a year to understand exactly the dynamics of the team, how you face issues, how you react to those problems.”

Ferrari fanboy Charles Leclerc

Despite his teething problems with the team, Leclerc has proven to be the perfect fit for the team. “To live it feels a lot shorter and you can feel all the steps and every time you are learning something and you apply it, you are just getting a better understanding of how everything works. Also, you feel more in control of the situation.” [h/t formula1.com]

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The driver has a five-year contract with the team. When asked about it, Leclerc replied, “I signed with Ferrari, so I don’t call that a risk. For me, it was an incredible opportunity… it was not a risk. I was signing for five years for the team I’ve always been dreaming of.” He adds that he’d be more than happy spending the rest of his career in red.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

A Ferrari fan through and through, Leclerc is determined to return the team to its former glory. The problems with the team only motivate him to bring it back to the top. “We are pushing like crazy to try and come back at winning. This is what this team is used to.”

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Thanks to Charles and his teammate Carlos Sainz, Ferrari fought hard in the midfield battle with McLaren; having equaled their rivals at 163 points on the constructor’s board.

Watch this story: Ferrari Strategy Fails We Will Never Forget

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Shreya Sanjeev

340 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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