Leclerc emerged as Ferrari’s future in 2019 and this year he rubber-stamped his status as team leader.
Charles Leclerc rose to the fore as Ferrari’s team leader and was a light in the darkness as the Scuderia slumped to its worst F1 season in decades.
In the recalcitrant and power-shy SF1000 there were some spectacular performances, the highlights being podiums in Austria and Britain, the achievements of which could only be fully appreciated once the depths of Ferrari’s travails were properly realised.
In qualifying he was superb, somehow taking fifth at Mugello and fourth at the Nurburgring, Portimao and Sakhir. In race trim he fought with the midfield where he could, sometimes trying to defy physics, as the SF1000 tried to spit him into an accident.
That aggression bit him at Monza, with a sizeable shunt, and he was careless in a handful of first-lap clashes, notably in Russia and Bahrain. But he undoubtedly indicated why Ferrari was so swift to tie him to a long-term deal.
On January 1, Stefano Domenicali will take over as CEO of Formula 1. In keeping with the previous head of the Ferrari group, Scuderia might lose such a gifted driver like Charles Leclerc if Ferrari is not competitive again.
According to the new CEO of Formula 1 Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari must pull out all the stops. He thinks that if Ferrari is not competitive again, they could lose top talent Charles Leclerc.
“It was the Scuderia’s worst season since 1980,” accepts Mattia Binotto, referencing the sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
“If Leclerc has a competitive car in the short term, Ferrari has nothing to fear. Then they won’t lose him,” Domenicali tells La Gazzeto Dello Sport. If Ferrari again arrives with a bad car, it could be a problem. “He could lose confidence and momentum just like that.”
In addition, Domenicali is not surprised that Sebastian Vettel had a dramatic season. “For Vettel it was obviously a tough year. Imagine you are four times world champion and even before the start of the season you hear that you will no longer be driving for the team next year. That’s terrible,” concludes Domenicali.
Domenicali was Ferrari’s team boss from 2008 to 2014 and he was the last team boss to win a world title with the Scuderia. From 1 January 2021, he will succeed Chase Carey as CEO of Formula 1.
DOMENICALI – IF FERRARI IS NOT COMPETITIVE AGAIN, THEY COULD LOSE LECLERC DOMENICALI – IF FERRARI IS NOT COMPETITIVE AGAIN, THEY COULD LOSE LECLERC
|2023 F1 Car Launches|
|Red Bull||RB19||03 February|
|Alfa Romeo||C43||07 February|
|Aston Martin||AMR23||13 February|
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