Charles Leclerc says he expects the transition between Mattia Binotto and the next Team Principal at Scuderia Ferrari to go smoothly, and it is now important to focus on the future rather than the past.
Binotto resigned from his role as Team Principal earlier this month and will leave Ferrari at the end of December, and Leclerc revealed that he received a phone call from him prior to the announcement.
Leclerc says he respects the decision for Binotto to walk away from Ferrari, but now the time has come to focus on the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and beyond.
“Mattia called me to announce that he would stop,” said Leclerc. “I respect his decision. And I can only thank him. Obviously he has believed in me right from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract.
“And before being team principal, he was also inside the Scuderia for many, many years and he has contributed to the success that the team had in the past years.
“So I wish him the best. And obviously now it’s up to us to focus on the future, and try and take the right choices in order to be a bit more of a challenge to Red Bull next year.”
Leclerc does not believe the change at the top at Ferrari will have any negative effects, and he expects the move to the new Team Principal to go smoothly.
“To be honest, I don’t know because from my own experience, I’ve never had a team principal change when I was racing for the same team,” Leclerc said. “It will probably require a little bit of time for the team principal to get at ease with the system, and with Ferrari, because it’s obviously a huge team.
“But I believe that if it’s done the right way, I don’t think we will suffer any of it on the track. So I am pretty sure it will be a smooth transition.”
Current Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur has been heavily linked with a move to replace Binotto, and Leclerc says that whilst it is a very different team at Hinwil compared to Maranello, he has a good relationship with the Frenchman and expects him to do a good job.
“I mean, Ferrari is a very different team to any other teams,” Leclerc insisted. “I can only comment on my experience with Fred which obviously has been good.
“I’ve been working with Fred already from the junior categories, where he has believed in me, and then we’ve always had a good relationship.
“But apart from that, obviously this shouldn’t influence any of the decisions. He has always been very straightforward, very honest. And this is something that I liked from Fred.
“Whether it will be him or not, I don’t know. And we’ll see hopefully in the in the next few months.”