Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

Leclerc doesn’t feel he’s Ferrari’s ‘number one’

2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says he doesn’t feel like Ferrari’s ‘number one’ driver despite winning the last two races and moving ahead of his team mate in the championship.

Following his victories at Spa and Monza, Ferrari’s only wins of the season so far, Leclerc now has 182 points to Sebastian Vettel’s 169. However he said he’s “never felt” he is the team’s leading driver.

“I think overall the team – from the outside I don’t know if it looks different or whatever – from the inside of it it’s very balanced. There have been situations in the past where I’ve helped Sebastian, some others where Seb helped me, and I think that’s the way forward for the team.

“The team is doing everything for its benefit and I think that’s the most important. We are here to perform at our best which is what we try to do. But at the end I’m very happy the way the team is at the moment.”

The team’s co-operative efforts were not entirely successful at Monza. During qualifying Vettel gave Leclerc the benefit of his slipstream on their first runs but did not gain the benefit at the end of the session as the pair failed to start their final flying laps in time.

Following Leclerc’s victory team principal Mattia Binotto told him he was “forgiven”, seemingly in reference to the events of the previous day. Leclerc said the situation hasn’t affected his relationship with Vettel.

“I don’t think it changed,” he said. “Obviously after Saturday there were some doubts about what I did but I explained myself and since then on then everything was fine.”

Leclerc believes he has more to gain from putting the team’s interests before his own.

“To be a team player always pays off at the end of the day,” he said. “Because also the team is doing everything for us too.

“Obviously if you have got one driver that is egoist and just look at himself is not is not great then there may be some situations where you need to look a little bit more at yourself. But. But I think that you need just need to find the right balance.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Leclerc doesn’t feel he’s Ferrari’s ‘number one’”

  1. Feels like hes just trying to politely brush of questions about if hes better than Vettel, he doesnt say anything at all.

  2. “To be a team player always pays off at the end of the day,” > Except when you can bag a pole position in Monza of course :).

  3. Yeah. Not a #1. He is pretty great for a #2 then.

    When does a driver become #1? Being faster is not good enough?

  4. “During qualifying Vettel gave Leclerc the benefit of his slipstream”.
    Wrong. There were two Renaults between Vettel and Leclerc in the first run of Q3.

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