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Leclerc: Ferrari step up easier than F1 debut

Leclerc: Ferrari step up easier than F1 debut

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Leclerc: Ferrari step up easier than F1 debut

Leclerc: Ferrari step up easier than F1 debut

Charles Leclerc says stepping up to Ferrari in 2019 has proven to be an easier transition than the one he found last year while debuting in Formula 1 at Sauber. Leclerc says swapping one F1 team for another has been a "smaller step" than he found moving up from Formula 2.

Leclerc impressed with Sauber last year, scoring three quarters of the team's points as they improved from 2017's bottom team to eighth in the constructors' championship.

A switch to Ferrari followed, and the Monegasque has looked quickly on the pace after the first week of pre-season testing.

"It's a different position I am in because last year when I arrived in winter testing, I was coming from Formula 2, so the step was big," Leclerc is quoted by Motorsport Week.

"Now it's from a Formula 1 car to another Formula 1 car, so obviously the step is smaller.

"But I got used to it very quickly, so I already feel quite at ease with the car.

"There are already a lot of things that I need to get at ease with, but already the feeling is very good. It's a car that is quite easy to drive now."

Leclerc has been tipped to muscle in on the title fight in 2019, although Lewis Hamilton has said placing such expectations on the 21-year-old is unfair.

And Leclerc says he is taking nothing for granted, although he remains fiercely ambitious.

"I'm realistic, it's only my second season in Formula 1," he said. "I have a lot to learn, and there is a long road ahead.

"But I can't hide that I'm pushing to be as ready as possible for the first race, and if Mattia [Binotto, team principal] has the problem to manage two quick drivers, then it's a good sign for me!

"But for now I'm just focusing on myself, trying to improve every lap I am doing in the car.

"It is a top team, and there are procedures that are quite different to the team I was in before. There is a bit of adaptation, but I will push to be as ready as possible for Australia."

MORE: Leclerc plans to give Ferrari a 'problem'
MORE: Hamilton: Title expectations on Leclerc 'unfair'

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