Charles Leclerc “firmly believes” in the Ferrari project, and says rumours to the contrary are “just gossip”.
Back in December 2019, Leclerc signed an extension to his Ferrari contract, one that will keep him at Maranello until 2024.
However, earlier this year a report emerged claiming that the Monégasque driver was unhappy with Ferrari’s progress and that his team had sounded out Red Bull about the possibility of forming a “dream team” with Max Verstappen.
Leclerc says this is not true.
“It’s just gossip,” he said. “Maybe someone was bored and came up with something.
“I firmly believe in the people at the Scuderia and I have embraced this project.
“Next year will see us start from scratch with completely new regulations and I will tackle this new era at the wheel of a Ferrari.”
But in the meantime he can celebrate his first podium of the 2021 season.
A day on and I’m still 50% happy and 50% disappointed but that’s a good thing. Great to be on the podium and it shows the progress we have made but also shows that we’re not there yet. So proud of the whole @ScuderiaFerrari team. We’ll keep pushing and we’ll be back on top soon👊 pic.twitter.com/WRhLutjlYV
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) July 19, 2021
Leclerc finished second at the British Grand Prix, a race he lead from lap 1, handed P1 as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided while fighting for the lead, to lap 50.
He was overtaken by Hamilton late in the race and says bringing his car home in second place was both a frustrating and happy moment.
“50 percent frustration, 50 percent happiness,” he said.
“Obviously going into the weekend there was absolutely no hope of fighting for a win here in Silverstone. So, this shows how great a job we are doing as a team.
“It’s not an easy situation for the team but the team is working extremely well. We are working extremely well as a team and we have shown that with this second place.
“Now we need to keep on working because that’s what we want to do consistently: fight for the win.
“So it’s great to be fighting with Lewis but we shouldn’t expect to be in that position for the rest of the year – and for that we need to keep working.”
10 races into this season and Leclerc is sixth in the Drivers’ Championship with 80 points, just 18 shy of what he managed the entire 2020 campaign.