(Motorsport-Total.com) – Charles Leclerc is one of the climbers of the season 2019. The Ferrari newcomer was able to finish on the podium in his second race with the Scuderia, but was scarcely enough for the first victory. But at the latest with his triumphal journey in Italy he fought his way into the heart of the Tifosi. His performance surprised even Ferrari managing director Louis Camilleri.
“We all know how much skill Charles has. He even surprised himself with his skills in America.” After a season with Ferrari customer Sauber, Leclerc joined the top team as the successor to Kimi Raikkonen. After initial adjustment difficulties and mistakes, the 22 year old increased especially in the second half of the season.
“It is so encouraging to see that he became stronger not only as a driver but also as an important part of the group.” That is extremely important for Ferrari, Camilleri emphasizes. Team boss Mattia Binotto also agrees with this assessment: “His season battle is extraordinary.”
The Italian is thrilled to have used Monegasse in his first season for Ferrari at such a young age: ” The number of points he scored, the victories, the potential victories that he could have won, “Binotto lists.
Leclerc can look back on a successful debut at the end of the year: he takes fourth place in the World Cup ahead of Sebastian Vettel (264: 240), puts up in the qualifying duel 12: 9 and becomes the qualifying king of the season with seven pole positions. He also has two victories (Belgium, Italy) and a total of ten podiums.
But it wasn't just Leclerc's Velocity that surprised the crew, but also his approach off the racetrack. “How he interacts with the engineers, his leadership role in the crew,” says Binotto. Camilleri also speaks of a great relationship with the crew.
However, the newcomer put the administration of the group to the test several times with his Construct. Vettel as four-time world champion battle was determined as number 1 in the crew at the beginning of the season. Due to the increasing power shift in the racing team, there was no longer any question of this at the end of the season.
The tensions between old master Vettel and Jungspund Leclerc increased, used to be in Brazil resulted in the break of the teammates. The Ferrari CEO later admits “mistakes”. The car caused problems, which made drivers feel uncomfortable and took unnecessary risks, explains Camilleri.
“Of course, Charles's performance also had an impact. This is inevitable if you have a world champion in the crew and then this child comes in and delivers a phenomenal season. ” The crew had to intervene at the beginning of the season with stall order instructions, the jam tightened qualifying in Monza.
Rosberg analyzes the Ferrari break
Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg describes the Ferrari break in Brazil from his point of view! More Formula 1 videos
Frictions in Russia and Singapore also increased unrest among the Reds. “A lot has been written. But you should know that the two get along well behind closed doors,” emphasizes Camilleri. “They respect each other very much and even joke with each other.”
The relationship between Vettel and Leclerc is by no means clouded after the first season together, the Ferrari leadership tries to reaffirm. “Of course they are very competitive. Brazil battle is clearly a nightmare. Still there is no thick air.”
The collision of the two is even an opportunity for the future. Because: “Sometimes it takes a crisis to change the rules of the game. Both realized that Ferrari suffered from it.” It will now be easier for Binotto to have the two pilots under control.
Charles Leclerc has a on Monday new Ferrari contract to 2024 signed.