Leclerc says 2019 F1 season panned out beyond his expectations
Charles Leclerc says his 2019 F1 season with Ferrari went better than what he had expected, even though he had much to learn throughout.
With just the one year in F1 with Alfa Romeo Racing in 2018, Leclerc was fast-tracked to Ferrari in 2019 alongside Sebastian Vettel, a move which gathered varied opinions. It was unusual of Ferrari to promote a driver so quickly to the senior team.
But Leclerc delivered on the expected lines, where he not only got the results but took the fight to his rivals at Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. He finished fourth, eventually, having lost to Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the fight for third, but he was ahead of Vettel still.
Together with it, he scored seven poles - the most in 2019 F1 season - and had two wins with 10 podiums in all. The results and amount he learnt all-year, it was more than what Leclerc expected as he told media including FormulaRapida.net.
"I'm happy, at the beginning of the season if you will have told me you will have seven poles and 10 podiums, I wouldn't have believed it," said Leclerc. "So it's definitely better than what I expect. Looking back though there are quite a few mistakes.
"The target now is to understand them and to not do them again. But, yes, I am satisfied about this first season, it's not been an easy year. The first part we struggled but I think we worked well and the hard work paid off in the second part of with two incredible wins.
"Obviously Monza was something that was beyond all of my dreams. I mean to be on top of that podium with 100s and thousands fans of Ferrari was absolutely crazy. So these experiences I will never forget them this first year I will never forget it.
"Then again, I've still got a lot of work to do to get better. But I'll put my head down and get better. This year was my first year in a top team, so I've learned a huge amount. I've done a few mistakes [as I said] which cost quite a bit of points at the end of the season.
"Normally I always analyse every mistakes I do to try and get better and not repeat them twice and that's the exact same I will do for next year to come back stronger, to be more ready and to do less mistakes to be stronger on a season.
"So I'm pretty sure well it will only get better from this season, my side for sure." It will be a crucial year for Leclerc in 2020 where Ferrari is expected to be better prepared and it will also be to see if the Monegasque takes over the mantle or Vettel continues to lead.
[Image courtesy: Ferrari] [Note: This story was co-written by Duncan Leahy me on FormulaRapida.net]