Leclerc: I'm very lucky to have Vettel as a team-mate
Charles Leclerc says he is “very lucky” to have Sebastian Vettel as his team-mate at Ferrari, and has disputed the suggestion he could be viewed as Ferrari’s ‘number one’ driver next season.
After impressing at Sauber (now Alfa Romeo) last season, the Monegasque driver was promoted to Ferrari at the expense of former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who went in the other direction.
It took him, and indeed Ferrari, a little while to find their feet in 2019 but after the summer break he won two races in a row in Spa and Monza, with Vettel winning in Singapore.
Even though he is currently ahead of the German in the drivers’ championship, Leclerc reckons he can’t be viewed as the Scuderia’s main man as Vettel has four titles to his zero, and that he is fortunate to have the veteran there providing advice.
“I’ve got no idea, but Sebastian has won four World Championships, I haven’t won any,” he told Channel 4 when asked about who Ferrari will see as their number one.
“I believe he has a lot of experience. He’s very quick, very strong, I’m learning a lot from him and then at the end [of the season] we will see, it’s not me making the decision who is number one or number two.
“At the moment I am happy like this and very lucky to have Seb next to me.”
Leclerc believes the main thing he has learned from Vettel is how to deal with, and provide feedback to, the engineers.
“It’s a bit new to me to look at next year’s car because until now I have been changing teams every year,” said.
“But at the moment I’m learning from that and I think it really helps to have Seb next to me who is used to these type of things, to see how he works on the development of the car, what is the key things to say to the engineer.
“There are so many things that you can say to an engineer, but if you say all of those things, you can confuse them a little bit, so you need to choose what you want to say, and at this Seb is helping quite a lot.”
The relationship between the drivers hasn't always been harmonious, however, as there have been several disputes within the team with regards to team orders. At the Russian Grand Prix, Most recently, Vettel overtook Leclerc off the opening line only for Ferrari to switch their drivers round after a pitstop, causing some controversy.
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