Leclerc urges Ferrari to focus on 2022, not on P3 fight
Charles Leclerc says he is urging Ferrari to focus on the big opportunity that awaits the Scuderia in 2022 rather than on this year’s fight for third in the championship.
The Italian outfit currently sits fourth in the Constructors’ standings, just 19 points behind McLaren, its top midfield rival.
While Leclerc aspires to fight his McLaren adversaries for all their worth this season, the Monegasque doesn’t want his team to lose sight of its main priority, 2022.
And he would gladly give up a spot on the Constructors’ podium this season to boost Ferrari’s prospects for next year’s all-important campaign.
“If you had the contract in front of me telling me that we sacrifice 2021 for a competitive 2022, I will be happy to take it – but nobody has this guarantee, unfortunately,” Leclerc said on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.
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“[I’m want the team] more to focus on 2022. And I think this is clear for everyone, 2022 will be a huge opportunity for everyone. These new cars are going to stay for many years after that.
“This year, OK, we are still fighting with McLaren for the third place in the constructors, but at the end, we know that our goal is to fight for the first position very, very soon, and this will be from 2022 onwards, and not this year.
“So I will be happy to give up about the third place in the constructors in 2021 to be fighting for the first place in 2022.”
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Leclerc is committed to the Scuderia until the end 2024, which is partly why he is placing so much importance on his team’s efforts for next season as they will likely determine Ferrari’s fate for the remainder of his contract with the outfit.
But if everything goes according to plan, the 23-year-old would like nothing more than to extend his lease with the House of Maranello.
But would he be happy spending his entire career with Ferrari?
“Of course I would be,” he said. “But I would be even more happy if we get back to winning, because that’s what matters, and I know that this is what matters also for the whole team.
“We are pushing like crazy to try and come back to winning, because this is what this team is used to doing. It’s not nice to be fighting where we are fighting at the moment.”
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