Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Charles Leclerc already looking ahead to next F1 season after 'crazy' debut year at Ferrari

Ferrari driver claimed two race wins and a grid-high seven pole positions in 2019

Charles Leclerc has said his debut season at Ferrari has been one big learning curve as the Formula One driver looks "forward to the future" after completing his year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

After impressing at Sauber in 2018, Leclerc was entrusted with a seat in F1's most prestigious team and the 22-year-old Monaco native proved he was up to the task, finishing fourth in the drivers' standings, 24 points above teammate Sebastian Vettel.

After two race wins, in Belgium and Italy, and a grid-high seven pole positions, Leclerc ended his season with a third-place finish in Abu Dhabi.

"As a driver, you always want more so I was not very satisfied with the way everything was going but with the second half, I am very happy," Leclerc said in an interview with CNN Sport. "I did not expect to have, at the end of my first season, seven poles and two wins. This is crazy. I did not expect it."

While there have been plenty of positive moments, Leclerc admitted there have been "some lows", none more so than the collision with Vettel in Brazil that ended both of their races.

"I’ve improved a lot as a driver and especially in the lows I’ve learned a lot," he said. "Now I’m really looking forward to the future, to getting even better."

Leclerc insisted that the air has been cleared with Vettel and both drivers are focused on delivering success for Ferrari.

"We need to work together for the team," he said. "Both of us understand that and that's why we are also getting on well outside of the car."

With the 2019 season now completed, Leclerc has already turned his attention to next year and is aiming to build on his achievements.

“You just look forward to the next challenge," he said. "Yes, it’s been a great year but I just can’t wait for next year, to try and put everything together and be even further up in the standing.”

Updated: December 2, 2019 03:36 PM

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