Leclerc ‘prepared to wait’ for Ferrari recovery as he predicts more pain at home in Monza
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto said in the wake of Ferrari’s worst result of 2020 at the Belgian Grand Prix that his team’s recovery could take years. And with Charles Leclerc contracted at Ferrari until the end of 2024, the Monegasque said that he was prepared to show patience, and put his shoulder to the wheel, to help with that recovery.
Speaking after the race at Spa-Francorchamps, where Sebastian Vettel and Leclerc finished 13th and 14th, and behind the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen, a “disappointed and angry” Binotto told the media: “How long [will the recovery] take? I think if you look back in all the winning cycles that have been set, it’s always many years. There are no silver bullets in F1; patience and stability is required.”
READ MORE: ‘Disappointed and angry’ Binotto struggles to explain Ferrari’s woeful pace at Spa
And asked ahead of Ferrari’s home race at Monza whether he was prepared to wait that long to start winning races again, Leclerc – who was re-signed to the team over the winter until 2024 – replied: “Well, on one hand I don't really have the choice. But surely it will take some patience and I'm ready to wait.
“But it's also my job to try and make this whole process as short as possible and for us to come back where we deserve to be. It's not going to be easy, it will take time, but I'm ready for this and my job is to give my best anyway in every situation we are in.”
Despite the team’s struggles in 2020, Ferrari still hold fifth in the constructors’ standings, just seven points off third-placed Racing Point.
And although he was predicting another tough weekend for Ferrari at Monza – where last year he gave the Scuderia their first home win since 2010 – Leclerc believed that the team’s performances should improve in the coming races, and potentially enough to give them that P3 come the season-end.
READ MORE: ‘There’s never a bad time to go to Ferrari’ – No regrets for Sainz over Scuderia move for 2021
“I think we'll have to wait until we arrive in Mugello,” said Leclerc, “which should be a track where we'll see a bit more the realistic picture for the end of the year, because Spa and here will be very difficult for us. Well, Spa has been very difficult for us! And Monza, I expect a similar weekend, but after that it should go better.
“Then whether it will be enough to come back to third in the constructors' championship, I don't know, but we'll push for this. As a driver I definitely want to believe in that third place in the championship, even if we know it's going to be difficult.”
Constructors' standings after the 2020 Belgian GP
|2 Red Bull Racing||158|
|4 Racing Point||66|
|8 Alfa Romeo Racing||2|
|9 Haas F1 Team||1|