Charles Leclerc has praised the value of Sebastian Vettel and says he can still learn a lot from the four-time world champion despite the pair colliding at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a season of team orders and disagreements within the Scuderia.
When the Monegasque driver was promoted to the Scuderia at the expense of Kimi Raikkonen, it was expected that he would play a secondary role to compliment Vettel in 2019, with Ferrari actually admitted that Vettel would receive priority initially.
However, as the season went on the tide turned, as Leclerc eventually bettered his veteran team-mate with two race victories to one in Belgium and Italy. Things became even more fractured towards the end of the season when they collided in Brazil, resulting in a reprimand from Ferrari management.
Leclerc insists that incident is behind them, though, and provided an insight as to what Vettel brings to the team while speaking on stage at Autosport International Show.
“I learned a lot, really a lot,” the 22-year-old said about his partnership with Vettel.
“I mean, he's extremely professional, and he's going a lot into the details. And Seb, he's also a very nice person.
“We were working well together. Obviously, we've had our moments on the track, in which we've learned together, and hopefully it won't happen again things like in Brazil.
"But at the end, I think we are mature enough out of the car to work together and to try to develop the kind in the right way.
“But I think in the way he's working with the team and the engineers, I've learned a lot and I've still got a lot to learn.
"He's going a lot in the details, as I said, and things that I never thought will be helpful to the engineers he will say anything. Sometimes I'm just here listening for one hour what he has to say about the session. He's just very, very interesting.”
Although 2020 obviously remains a priority for Leclerc and Ferrari, he explains that the team are still keeping an eye on preparations for 2021 when the vast format changes are introduced to the sport.
“I think 2020 will be a very important year, where teams are going to invest a lot obviously because then the budget cap is coming in 2021,” he said.
“I'll try to be as ready as possible for 2021 as I think it will be a big year. And hopefully we'll be working properly with the team to build the right car to be able to win to win the championship.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.