Leclerc confident of 'positive' steps from new Ferrari SF21

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Charles Leclerc says the word coming from Ferrari is their 2021 car will offer a "positive" step forward from last year.

After two wins, seven podiums and seven poles in his first season in red, the Monegasque only tasted champagne twice in 2020 as the Scuderia slipped to sixth in the Constructors' Championship, their lowest finish since 1980.

The new season though does give Ferrari a chance to address their main weaknesses from last year, notably an underpowered engine and a draggy car, and Leclerc is sure the SF21 will be a step back in the right direction.

“If you ask me, when we have a new project for the car it’s always very difficult to know how things are going to go until you try it out," he said in the team launch video last week.

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“But I think with all the meetings we’ve had since the beginning of the year, more or less we know that there are some positive things in this car. A huge amount of work has gone into it to improve it.

“After other people have done their work, we’ll see how it goes on track. So yes I hope we’ll be back in command soon.”

Entering his third year at Ferrari, Leclerc has established himself as the lead driver following the departure of Sebastian Vettel to Aston Martin.

And the 23-year-old spoke of the passion and desire within Maranello to succeed.

“For me, Ferrari is a way of work, the attention to detail, always trying to improve, they’re always trying to push the limits in everything they do," he explained.

“It’s like a family. We are going through tough times together, we are going through very good times together, all of us are one and one team.

“There’s a whole team working day and night, working for us to do well, I see it actually more as a team sport than an individual sport."

20061 f1 team launch sainz leclerc

Of course, joining the Ferrari family for 2021 is Carlos Sainz and Charles spoke of the competition and also the partnership the Spaniard will offer.

“I’m here to beat everyone else and I know that my teammate is the only driver on the grid that has the same car as I do, so it’s always a challenge for a driver to try and beat the person who has the same car as you," he noted.

“It’s a big challenge but for me, it’s what makes this sport so exciting because we are pushing each other to always do more because at the end what’s important is that Ferrari wins.”

Ferrari will finally unveil their 2021 car on March 10.