Leclerc: 'I will do anything to change the hierarchy at Ferrari'


Charles Leclerc says he understands Ferrari's current policy that favours Sebastian Vettel, but the Monegasque is resolute on changing the hierarchy.

Before the season began, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto made clear that his drivers would be allowed to race each other but in a '50-50' situation, priority would be given to Vettel due to his experience and being the driver "who has most probability to challenge for the title".

Binotto has since reiterated that stance and indeed applied the policy, with the Ferrari pitwall using team orders in the first three races but none so clearly as in China, when Leclerc was instructed to yield to his team mate early in the race to allow Vettel to pursue the escaping Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

However, Vettel failed to bridge the gap with the Silver Arrows. And the decision proved to be a set back for Leclerc who fell into the clutches of Max Verstappen and was undercut by the Red Bull driver for fourth place.

So far, team orders have thus been a source of frustration for Leclerc, but one that has enforced his determination to change the pecking order at Maranello sooner rather than later

"I have to show what I can do on the racetrack, and then hopefully the situation will change someday," said Leclerc, speaking to Auto Motor und Sport.

"Like every driver here, I want to be the fastest. So far, I have understood every decision, even though it is sometimes difficult for a driver to accept it.

"I have a four-time world champion next to me driving for Ferrari in his fifth year. I understand that there is a hierarchy at the moment, but I will do anything to change that.


Asked if it would not be more equitable for the favoured driver to give back the position if he does not prove to be faster, Leclerc said he would defer to the team's orders… to "some extent".

"I do not know, I have not thought about that yet," he said.

"The boys at the pit wall have a better overview of the race. So, to some extent, I will do what is required of me."

Leclerc's outstanding talent appears to be matched by a mature and level-headed approach to his job, and to its disappointments.

Thwarted by an engine issue in Bahrain while enjoying a commanding lead with ten laps to go, the young charger was obviously disheartened by his misfortune but also rational in the face of adversity.

"I know that things like that happen in motorsports," he admitted.

"Sometimes a technical problem costs you victory, sometimes your own mistake. I get more annoyed when I make the mistake. As in Baku.

"That was just stupid. I threw a possible pole position in the dustbin. That cost me a chance to win on Sunday. The car had the potential to win. It was my fault it did not work."

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