Charles Leclerc says he has “grown quite a lot” as a driver having come to terms with Ferrari’s performance woes over the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari has found itself well off the pace compared to last year, falling to a lowly sixth in the constructors’ championship after the opening nine races.

The Italian outfit’s drastic dip in form came in the wake of its private settlement with the FIA over the legality of its 2019 engine, resulting in its straightline speed advantage disappearing.

Expectations of a turn around in 2021 have already been played down by the team due to a freeze on car development, before the new technical regulations arrive in 2022.

Amid Ferrari’s difficulties, Leclerc has claimed two podiums and consistently out-performed team-mate Sebastian Vettel, scoring 32 points more than the four-time world champion.

While Leclerc accepts Ferrari’s current situation is a complete reversal of last season, he insists he’s “hugely motivated” to turn things around.

“It’s definitely a quite different picture compared to last year,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Motorsport Week.

“We have been struggling as a team quite a lot more but surely we always learn more once you are going through tough times.

“It is up to us to keep our heads up and stay motivated, which is the most difficult at the moment. I have to be honest also driving for Ferrari is a motivation in itself, I’m not struggling with that, I’m hugely motivated to do well, to turn the situation around.

“I have a long-term partnership to the team and I’m really looking forward to try and turn it around.

“It’s not the easiest at the moment but we are working hard to get back to the top but surely I think I’ve grown quite a lot this season.”