Leclerc 'ready' for 2020 season after 'emotional' Ferrari launch

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Charles Leclerc is focused and ready for the 2020 Formula 1 season after an "emotional" launch of the new Ferrari on Tuesday.

The Monegasque became the darling of the Tifosi during his first season at the Italian team last year mostly after winning at Monza and giving Ferrari their first home win since 2010.

Leclerc's performances saw him finish ahead of four-time world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel and earned him a further extension to his contract until the end of 2024, something that arguably sets him to lead the Scuderia into the new era of F1 from 2021.

As for this season, however, the 22-year-old admits Tuesday's big reveal in Reggio Emilia was a special moment for him and the team.

“I think it is always emotional when you see a new car and the SF1000 is not an exception,” Leclerc said.

“I felt emotional when I saw it and you can see all the work from the guys here at Maranello, what they have done to get the car where it is now.

“I can’t wait to get on the track and try it.”

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Ferrari head into 2020 needing a much-improved year to get back on terms with Mercedes and also now a rejuvenated Red Bull team, thanks to their new partnership with Honda.

To do that, at least from his side, Leclerc admits his focus is on the process.

“I always set the bar very high in every season I do, not in terms of results but in terms of preparations and focusing on the job I need to do in the car,” he explained.

“I rarely focus on the results just because I think if I work well the results will come and if we work well as a team the results will come, so I’m focusing on that.

“I’ve been training harder than ever to get ready for the season. I feel ready now and I can’t wait to be in the car and see where we are compared to the others.”

Also, having been the new guy at Ferrari, in a racing capacity, last year, Leclerc admits 2020 will see a change in how his role works in terms of helping in the development of the SF1000.

“This year will change quite a bit for me because last year everything was new. I had to discover the whole team," he continued.

“Even though I was in the Ferrari Drivers’ Academy everything seemed very big and it was new to adapt to the systems, the processes.

“This year for me it will be a bit easier but on the other hand, there will be a lot of expectations.

“I have worked extremely hard to be at the level I want to be this year and hopefully it will be a positive year.”

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