Cape Town – Charles Leclerc is setting his sights pretty high as he prepares to make his debut for Ferrari in 2019, saying he hopes to win at least “a couple of grands prix”.
The Monegasque driver had a fantastic rookie season in the sport, and his performances at Sauber have catapulted him into a seat with the Scuderia for next season.
Although Leclerc will face increased pressure, and greater scrutiny on his driving, he is not bothered by it, and has set his targets for the campaign.
“Pressure? No, I do not feel it,” Leclerc said at the Caschi d’Oro awards in Italy on Thursday night.
“Rather I feel the support and I must say that I am happy. My goal is obviously to do my best and respect the team’s expectations.
“I will have at my side a driver like Sebastian Vettel who will be an important help for me to grow and learn.
“He is a wonderful person, as well as a great driver, and I got to know him when I worked at the Maranello simulator and he thanked me for the work I did.
“Going back to my goals. It is clear that racing for Ferrari I would like to win a couple of grands prix: such as Monaco, my home race, and Monza. But I cannot imagine what it will be like to race in Italy as a Ferrari driver!”
Leclerc had a chance to drive the Ferrari in the post-season Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi and he was more than pleased with it.
“How did I find it? Unbelievable. The car is fabulous to drive. It was a great honour as well as a great emotion,” he explained.
“Obviously we are talking about a test, it does not make much sense to talk about performance in absolute terms, but the feeling was immediately exceptional.”