With growing concern that the lack of rules changes combined with teams focussing on 2021 will lead to this season being pretty much like 2019, many feel that the main hope of any genuine excitement is the rivalry between certain drivers and in particular the Ferrari pair, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
However, while hoping that there will be no repeats of the clash which saw both drivers eliminated from the Brazilian Grand Prix, Leclerc has expressed his admiration for the way in which his teammate works, claiming to have “learned a lot” from the German.
“I learned a lot, really a lot,” the Monegasque told an audience of F1 fans in Birmingham. “He’s extremely professional, and he’s going a lot into the details. He’s also a very nice person.
“We were working well together,” he continued. “Obviously, we’ve had our moments on the track, in which we’ve learned together, and hopefully it won’t happen again… things like in Brazil.
“But in the end, I think we are mature enough out of the car to work together and to try to develop the car in the right way. I think in the way he’s working with the team and the engineers, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve still got a lot to learn,” he admitted.
“He’s going a lot in the details, things that I never thought will be helpful to the engineers he will say anything. Sometimes I’m just here listening for one hour what he has to say about the session. He’s just very, very interesting.”
Looking ahead to the coming season, he said: “2020 will be a very important year, where teams are going to invest a lot obviously because the budget cap is coming in 2021.
“I’ll try to be as ready as possible for 2021 as I think it will be a big year. Hopefully we’ll be working properly with the team to build the right car to be able to win to win the championship.”
“It’s very difficult to find the words to describe what I felt during this race,” he admitted. “I had a lot of pressure, the whole team had a lot of pressure, because obviously we were in Italy, Ferrari is huge in Italy, and everyone wanted us to win so there was big pressure around the whole team.
“The week started from the Monday, which is quite different from the other grands prix because normally as drivers we start on the Thursday, but we started on the Monday with some events in Milan and things like that.
“So the pressure was building. Then doing the pole was something special already, but then I had to focus on the race and in the race I had no space to breathe. I had Lewis all the race at less than two seconds, I think, so a lot of pressure.
“And then to be on the podium, to finally have won the race, and to see the red army under the podium was something extremely special. It gave me chills and made me realise what it is like to be a Ferrari driver, which of course I realised a little bit before, but I think you really realise it once you win in Monza and see the passion that you can see in the eyes of the people… the passion that they have for the brand. It’s unbelievable to see.”