Charles Leclerc has said he was intimidated by Sebastian Vettel at first when he made the step up to the Ferrari seat.
Leclerc and Vettel became team-mates ahead of the 2019 season when the Monegasque driver was chosen to replace Kimi Raikkonen.
While the Finn went back to his roots at Alfa Romeo, Leclerc quickly established himself at Ferrari and his performances ensured Vettel would lose his status as number one driver.
Reflecting on his big move to Ferrari, Leclerc revealed that Vettel’s World Championship status did leave him intimidated before he got to know him better.
“At the beginning of my time at Ferrari, it was different to what I had with my other teams mates because Seb was such a champion,” Leclerc told the official Formula 1 website.
“Like with Ferrari I was also intimidated with Seb at first, which is normal, but actually he’s a very normal guy and a very nice guy.
“We have got on very well from the beginning. There is a competitiveness that plays a role in the relationship but that never changes the way we speak to each other. That was a good thing.
“There were moments that were a bit more difficult, like Brazil, which always happens, but I think we managed the situation quite well and we managed to turn the page quite quickly after that.”
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Leclerc, still only 22 years old, has plenty of room for further development and is still learning new skills. One of which has been becoming more patient.
“This is key and that is the biggest step I have done in my career, being more patient,” he added.
“In the beginning, I wanted everything straight away. I was only seeing the negatives. Be more patient and cheering myself up a bit more – these two things I would say to my younger self.”
Leclerc is very much seen as the chosen one at Ferrari, having signed a new five-year deal in December 2019. Vettel, meanwhile, has been shown the door but will be given a fresh start by the team known as Aston Martin from 2021.
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