The Ferrari spotlight might now be on Charles Leclerc, but he has no concerns about nerves ahead of the new Formula One season.
Charles Leclerc insists he will feel no nerves as he lines up alongside Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari this season, seeing only an opportunity to impress.
The 21-year-old is replacing Kimi Raikkonen at the Italian team, leaving Sauber – now known as Alfa Romeo – where the Finn will take his place.
In just his second Formula One campaign, Leclerc will link up with four-time champion Vettel, but he is relishing the chance to race alongside an elite star.
Speaking at the launch of Ferrari’s 2019 car, Leclerc said: “I’m not nervous. I think it’s more an opportunity for me to be next to Sebastian, who is such a champion.
“I can definitely learn a lot from him. I just see it as an opportunity and I’m pretty sure it will be an amazing season. I think the key will be to work together. I’m sure we will make it.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) February 15, 2019
“I’m extremely excited to start this new adventure,” he said. “It’s a dream since I was a child – I’ve always been looking at the red car, hoping to one day be in this car. It’s a very emotional day for me.
“I’ve also been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy for some years. That has helped me massively to develop as a driver, with the goal to one day finally have this seat, which is now happening. It’s a very proud day for me.”
Vettel is certainly confident that Leclerc can help the team, adding: “Charles has been racing his whole life. It’s a big step to join Ferrari, but I think also he is very, very excited.
“I’m looking forward to this year. I think the team is on the right path. Hopefully, we can continue improving.”