Monday, 14 january 2019, 06:07 , by Matthew Scott
Charles Leclerc has set sights on victory in his and Ferrari's home races next year – hoping to crown a debut campaign in Scuderia scarlet with Monaco and Italian Grand Prix triumphs. The Monegasque will become Ferrari's second-youngest F1 driver in history next year but is taking no time to settle in.
Leclerc will replace Kimi Raikkonen to team with Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari next year and has been tipped to elbow his way into the German and Lewis Hamilton's title fight, despite his relative inexperience.
Having shown fine skills and racecraft in a rookie campaign at Sauber, Leclerc doesn't want to waste any time in realising his dreams with the famous Italian squad.
Leclerc said: "Pressure? No, I do not feel it. I feel the support more 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!"
Having driven a Ferrari car as a fully fledged Scuderia driver for the first time in last year's post-season Abu Dhabi test, Leclerc was glowing in his praise for the machinery.
He added: "The car is fabulous to drive. It was a great honour as well as a great emotion.
"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."