LeClerc Won’t Accept Number 2 Status

Published 10/17/2018, 9:26 AM EDT
Charles LeClerc


Charles Leclerc has no intention of playing second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and says he will be going all out for title success in 2019. Vettel enjoyed a fairly one-way relationship with Kimi Raikkonen until it was announced the Finn would be leaving the Scuderia, often benefitting from superior strategy to the Finn.

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Things have tuned for Vettel since the Scuderia opted to replace Raikkonen with Leclerc for 2019 at this year’s Italian GP, notably the Finn taking pole and then fighting Vettel for P1 at Monza – sending the German into a costly spin.

Any suggestion that the arrival of young gun Leclerc could see Vettel take back team leader status has been swiftly rejected by the 21-year-old.

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Leclerc told F1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast: “In every team you start the year on an equal status and then at one point, once one driver is fighting for the championship and one is not, then I believe it’s normal for the second driver to help the first one, which I’m ready to do in case I am the second driver and I don’t have my chances to win the championship.

“But apart from that, I don’t think I will go there to be a second driver.”

LeClerc with future teammate, Sebastian Vettel

Although Leclerc has been held up as the future of Ferrari, he does not expect to be untouchable if he does not delver top performances.

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“If you ask me about the pressure, I think I can handle this because I have a mentality that I don’t feel the pressure at all. I know lots of people say, ‘yeah but the pressure in Ferrari is on another level’, but my mentality allows me to take off all the pressure.

“I don’t really take into consideration what people are expecting from me. The only thing I do is focus on myself and try to give the best possible performance on track.”

“I’m also very honest. If I’m not good enough next year, I should be dropped by Ferrari and this would be completely understandable for me. This is how I see it.

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“If I’m good enough, I deserve to stay there. If I’m not, I deserve to be left off and I think that takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

Charles LeClerc

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Dhruv George

12013 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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