Charles Leclerc admits that he was “intimidated” by the idea of working alongside four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel when he arrived at Ferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Still very young and with relatively limited experience in the world of F1, Leclerc found himself from one day in the spotlight and had to learn how to work within a huge organisation like Ferrari as well as alongside a four-time world champion.
Something the youngster says was very intimidating. Perhaps something of a big admission for the Ferrari man had Vettel not been already consigned to the exit door of Maranello.
“At the beginning of my stay with Ferrari it was different from what I had experienced with my other team-mates because Seb was such a champion. ” explains Charles Leclerc in an interview with F1.
“Just like with Ferrari, I was very intimidated by Seb at first, which is normal, but in fact he’s a very normal guy and a very nice guy”.
After a brief period of adaptation, Leclerc quickly got the better of his team-mate and took his first F1 victory in his first season with the Italian team at the Belgian GP.
As the weeks went by, the relationship between the two men became a little more tense and reached its peak at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix when the two drivers collided during the race and both had to retire.
“There have been some more difficult moments, like Brazil, which always happens, but I think we handled the situation fairly well and managed to turn the page fairly quickly afterwards.
Since then, the relationship between Vettel and Leclerc seems to have calmed down, even if they collided again at the Austrian Grand Prix at the beginning of the season.
“We’ve been getting along very well since the beginning. There is a competitiveness that plays a role in the relationship but that never changes the way we talk to each other. That’s a good thing.
Next year, Charles Leclerc will team up with Spaniard Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, while Sebastian Vettel will join Canadian Lance Stroll at Aston Martin.