Leclerc: Becoming world champion? I’m still far away

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has moved to temper expectations he will soon become a Formula 1 world champion, suggesting there is still more improvement needed.

Set to lead the Scuderia for the next half-decade with the impending departure of Sebastian Vettel, all eyes are on Leclerc to deliver Ferrari its first F1 title of any description since 2008.

However the Monegasque maintains there is still more progress needed by both team and driver before such dreams can become reality.

“If I think about becoming world champion? I don’t know what to expect, I’ve never been one,” he joked to Sky Sport Italia, before more seriously adding: “I have to work, there’s still a long way to go.

“I’m happy with the growth I’ve had so far but there’s still so much to do. I hope to succeed someday, but I’m still far away.”

Last year Leclerc finished fourth in the driver’s championship with two wins and 264 points, 149 behind winner Lewis Hamilton. Similarly, Ferrari were second in the constructor’s on 504 — 235 behind champions Mercedes.

And yet while Leclerc isn’t expecting to completely close the gap when the 2020 season gets underway, he admits he is excited to try.

“I go to sleep and I wake up with only one idea in my head: to drive,” he said.

“I miss it so much, I’m training more than ever to be ready when we start again.”