Leclerc reveals most valuable lesson learned at Ferrari

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A year on from his move to Ferrari after a rookie season with the Sauber squad, Charles Leclerc acknowledges that he's still on a steep learning curve in F1 despite finishing last season fourth in the drivers championship, ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel.

“Patience," he told fans in a video Q&A posted on Twitter and Instagram when asked what the biggest lesson was that he'd learned in his first season at Maranello. "Something that I have struggled to learn in the past.

"Being with Ferrari, I learned that you need it," he explained. "You can't have everything right away.

"You need to have a little patience and learn from the best, from Sebastian and from the team," he said. "Things need time to settle down and so sometimes there is a need to wait and I was perhaps a little too impatient."

But even so, Leclerc insisted that he wouldn't change a thing about his first season with the team. "Change something? No, I made mistakes but they made me the driver I am now, so I wouldn't change a thing."

The 22-year-old was also asked about his initial feelings when he first visited Maranello. But rather than thinking about his start with the team as a full time driver in 2019, Leclerc cast his mind much further back.

“It was a long time ago, I was 11 or 12 years old and I was with Jules Bianchi," he said. "I arrived in the city, but I was unable to join Ferrari because I did not have a pass!

"I remember that I looked at the company from the outside and I was very impressed. I dreamed that I would be able to enter it one day. Now I have to admit that it is a little easier to have access to the company.

"I entered [the Ferrari Driver Academy] in 2015 and I remember it was special, I went with my dad to Maranello, with shyness and emotion. It was a great day and a highpoint of my career.

I have been with Ferrari for a year now. Every time I wear a suit or a red jersey it is special, I always find it hard to believe I am here."

The multi-lingual Leclerc replied to questions in both English and Italian, and was asked when he had first picked up the latter language.

"It actually happened naturally. I was in Italy, I spent 80 per cent of my youth there for karting races, and therefore I was forced to learn it just to talk to the mechanics."

Leclerc filmed the video at his home, against a backdrop consisting of trophies and helmets from past races. Like everyone else he's currently under lockdown conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic and doing what he can to be fully ready and motivated for when motor racing is finally able to resume.

"I have all kinds of equipment at home," he said. "A bicycle, some weights, I get ready and here in Monte Carlo, we have the authorisation to carry out physical activity for an hour a day outdoors. It suits us but it's not optimal.

"I see a lot of support [online] at the moment," he added. "I read the messages even if I can't answer everyone. And I'm glad, it keeps me motivated to train for when the series restarts."

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