Charles Leclerc, who made his FIA Formula 1 World Championship debut last year, believes winning a minimum of two races in 2019 is an accomplishable target to reach with Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow.
The Monegasque driver sprung into life in his maiden campaign with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team in 2018, scoring 39 of the Swiss team’s 48 points, subsequently finishing 13th in the Drivers’ Championship.
His best finish of his 21 starts has been an impressive sixth in an incident-packed 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku Street Circuit.
Along with battling with team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Leclerc will be under pressure to perform for a team who have been making progress with a car that has won races in the last two seasons but came away empty-handed in the final reckoning.
“Pressure? No, I do not feel it. Rather I feel the support and I must say that I am happy.” he said, speaking at Autosprint’s Caschi d’Oro (golden helmet) ceremony. “My goal is obviously to do my best and respect the team’s expectations.
“I will have at my side a driver like Sebastian Vettel who will be an important help for me to grow and learn. He is a wonderful person, as well as a great driver, and I got to know him when I worked at the Maranello simulator and he thanked me for the work I did.
“Going back to my goals. It is clear that racing for Ferrari I would like to win a couple of grands prix: such as Monaco, my home race, and Monza. But I cannot imagine what it will be like to race in Italy as a Ferrari driver!”
Leclerc had driven a Ferrari prior to being announced, but his first test since being confirmed was in the post-season tyre test at Abu Dhabi.
The Ferrari driver reflected on that particular day.
“How did I find it? Unbelievable. The car is fabulous to drive. It was a great honour as well as a great emotion,” Leclerc said.
“Obviously we are talking about a test, it does not make much sense to talk about performance in absolute terms, but the feeling was immediately exceptional.”