Charles Leclerc says he will try not to be too demanding of Ferrari when he joins the team in 2019, and will instead try to learn what is required to be successful.
The 20-year-old will move to Maranello from Sauber next season in place of Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn going in the opposite direction. Driving alongside Sebastian Vettel, Leclerc has already stated he will not be taking on a number two role, but he is also wary of making too many demands given his relative inexperience in Formula 1.
“For now, I will just come in and take it easy,” Leclerc said. “It’s still a long way away and I’m fully focused on this season, and then next season we will see. But for sure I will not arrive and there and act like I am the king and say ‘I want this, this, this and this’. I will just get there and see how things are.
“Apart from Thursday being quite a bit different [in Singapore] because the media session was a bit more full, after that everything came back to normal. The main importance for me is to focus on this year and really not be distracted with what will happen next year. Obviously it will be a dream come true but I need to stay fully focused on this year.
“I just want to do the best job here for now. It’s quite natural for me not to think too much about next year. I want to keep learning and trying to do the best job possible with the car that we have.”
Raikkonen will return to the team he started his F1 career with, and with the 2007 world champion signing a two-year deal, Leclerc expects Sauber to continue making clear progress during that time.
“Obviously I’ve been very lucky to start with Sauber this year,” he said. “They gave me a car to at least show my potential. If you look at the last two or three years of the team it was definitely not easy, and not only from a team point of view, but also for the driver. To arrive here and to be so far back, it is difficult to show your potential.
“This year I am in a lucky position where they gave me a car where I can at least show what I can do, and for that I will be forever grateful. I think they really have potential. There’s a plan for the future of the team and they have grown massively from the first race until now. I have complete belief that they will continue to grow in the next seasons.”