The on-track battle between former teammates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel escalated a few times, but the Monégasque revealed that he learned a lot from the 4-time world champion.
In 2019, Charles Leclerc stepped up from Alfa Romeo Sauber to Scuderia Ferrari at which he became teammates with Sebastian Vettel. In an interview with Motorsport.com Italy, the Monégasque now praised his previous teammate, who left the squad at the end of 2020. With a view back on their relationship, the 23-year-old explained that the German has a clever approach to the job and described it as something he will miss.
He started by speaking about Vettel’s experience and pointed out that “in certain situations, he had great analytical skills, and I think I learned a lot from Seb in this respect.”
“I realized that the importance he gave to some details in the end made a big difference on the track. It was very interesting for me to evaluate this. Then Seb is a very good person, who has always struck me for being so straightforward.”
Vettel himself switched to Aston Martin for the 2021 season and is eyeing midfield battles against his old team and former teammate Leclerc. When Leclerc got questioned about his feelings when his former team partner is overtaking him this season after getting beaten in 2020, he explained that he doesn’t “[…] think that if such a circumstance happens I’ll think: ‘Ah, he was my teammate and I beat him and now he’s in front of me’.”
“When I lower the visor, I have no room for these thoughts. I focus on myself, on the car and the commitment that awaits me. If Seb passes me then I will immediately try to take my position back. I don’t think I will have any other thoughts in my mind at that moment.”
Apart from talking about former teammate Vettel, Leclerc urged patience in terms of Ferrari’s current performances. When the 4-time world champion left the Italian team, the situation at the squad was already not in the best shape. The team is aware that it will take a couple of years until the prancing horses will be back at the top of the grid.
“You must have patience, and it is a gift that I developed along the way,” said Leclerc. “Years ago in fact I did not have it, or I had little. When you get a delay caused by technical reasons, we know that in Formula 1 it takes time to be able to reset it. So during this time you have to be as calm as possible, also because getting angry and impatient is not constructive.
“I think I’ve matured from this point of view. But obviously I can’t wait to get back to winning races. The goal of a driver is always the same.”