Charles Leclerc hopes Scuderia Ferrari will play equal status at the beginning of next year, when he starts his first season at the Italian team.
The Monegasque driver will make the switch from Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team to Ferrari next year, with Kimi Räikkönen going in the other direction.
Leclerc will partner up with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who are separated by ten years of age. When he joins Ferrari next year, Leclerc will be 21 years of age, the youngest any driver has joined Ferrari since Ricardo Rodríguez in 1961.
Despite the inexperience and age compare to his quadruple champion team-mate, Leclerc said to Sky Sports F1 that he is certain that Ferrari will start off equally for both drivers.
“It’s more or less like this in every team,” Leclerc said. “You have two drivers who start the season on equal status and then at one point in the season you see some team orders because probably one driver is playing for the championship and the other is not.
“This is normal, in every team it’s happening. But I believe they will let us race at the beginning of the season.”
Leclerc says he’s aware that when joining Ferrari, he needs to deliver the results since he’s making the step up to a big team in the sport.
“I need to deliver – I’m not going to Ferrari to learn,” commented Leclerc.
“I’ve had a very good season this year where I could learn most of it and next year is to perform where I should be once you are going in a big team. I’m not saying I will not learn anything anymore, as I have so much to learn still and I can still improve a lot, but I will be a lot more ready than I was at the beginning.”
The future Ferrari team-mates know each other due to their relations with the team. But Leclerc told Racefans.net that he knows Vettel ‘a little bit’, but admits that he has been supportive in the earlier stages of his career.
“He has always been very nice to me,” Leclerc added. “Every time I was going a good job in the simulator, once I was in Formula Two, he would always send a text and that was great. And it will be even better to work with him, for sure I have a lot to learn from him.”
This year Ferrari have produced a car that is capable of competing for both world championships this year. Leclerc believes that if it is the same next year then he could be a possibility for the Monegasque driver, but states that he will need to grow a lot as a driver.
“It is difficult to speak now but my target is to do the best chance possible with the car I will have,” he said.
“This year they have a car to win the title and if next year is the same obviously it will be then to win the title which is definitely a big thing but I will have to grow a lot as a driver. It will be to take the best result possible.”