F1 | Leclerc: Good relationship with "very straightforward and very honest" Vasseur should not influence Ferrari decision on next team principal
Charles Leclerc opened up on the transition time that Ferrari is experiencing and set his - and the team's - goals for next season.
During the FIA Gala organised in Italy and held today in Bologna, one of the hottest topics was that of the resignation of the Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, who will leave the Italian team after a long career in red as an engineer and a brief one as team principal, which lasted only three seasons.
Charles Leclerc, who was present at the ceremony, answered some questions, explaining how Ferrari is experiencing a delicate period right now, because replacing the team's pivot means making rather important changes to the work, to the organization of the work, the team management:
“Obviously the last few weeks have been a bit difficult for the team and we are in a transition time at the moment,” said the Monegasque.
“On that I have the full trust on Benedetto [Vigna, Ferrari CEO] and John [Elkann, Ferrari chairman] to take the right decision. 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’ll suffer any of it on the track. I’m pretty sure it will be a smooth transition.
“Hopefully in 2023 we will take another step forward and hopefully get closer to the goal that we all want in the team, which is to be world champion”.
He commented like this when asked what he thinks about Binotto’s departure:
“I respect his decision and I can only thank him.
“Obviously he 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, try and take the right choices, in order to be a bit more of a challenge to Red Bull next year.”
He had already expressed in a few intervews how positive he is about the next season, and today he explained why:
“I am confident because we are doing quite a lot of work in the simulator, that we’ve been working extremely hard in the past year to try and understand what the weaknesses of this car were, in order to get better for next year’s car.
“Obviously there’s also Mattia [Binotto] still at the factory at the moment, working and trying to help the team get ready for 2023.”
When he was asked wheather he has a preference for the next team principal, he said: “No. And I won’t comment on that."
Vasseur is said to be the man who’s going to replace Binotto, he even bought a house near to the Ferrari factory. About this Leclerc said:
“I can only comment on my experience with Fred [Vasseur], which obviously has been good. I’ve worked with Fred already from the junior categories, where he has believed in me, and 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 like from Fred.
“Whether it will be him or not, I don’t know. We will see hopefully in the next few months.”