Charles Leclerc says he “would never have imagined” foreseeing himself as a two-time grand prix winner in his debut year with Ferrari after a difficult start to the 2019 season.
Leclerc transitioned from Sauber to Ferrari for this year following his impressive rookie campaign, and together with his two victories has claimed more pole positions than any driver on the grid.
Despite his recent rich vein of form, the Monegasque initially struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, causing him to rethink his approach mid-season that enabled him to put his run of results together.
“I think after the first four, five races, I would never have imagined to find myself in this position at that moment of the year,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.
“I worked a lot, especially on qualifying at the beginning of the season, and then I changed a few things, it went quite a lot better since France onwards.
“I’m very satisfied with the season. I had no expectations in terms of results, but I wanted progression, and on that I’m very happy.”
Heading into the final two races Leclerc is in the midst of a three-way battle for third in the drivers’ championship against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Sitting 14 points clear of Verstappen with Vettel a further five points back, the 22-year-old insists finishing P3 in the standings would be “crazy” but won’t establish him as Ferrari’s new number one driver.
“It’s definitely not for the gala, and it’s neither to take the leadership,” Leclerc said.
“Obviously being third in the Formula 1 world championship would be crazy. Last year I was fighting for the 13th position, and I would never have imagined I could be fighting for a podium in the world championship this year.
“So just for a personal achievement, it would be great, and I would be extremely happy of it. It’s mostly for myself. I would be very happy.”