Charles Leclerc says he is ready to be patient through the “years” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has warned it may take the squad to win again in Formula 1.
Ferrari has struggled so far in 2020 after its controversial engine “settlement” with the FIA, with the SF1000 down on power and struggling with the extra drag its aerodynamic parts generate as a result.
Leclerc has picked up two surprise podiums in the opening seven races, but Ferrari still currently sits fifth in the constructors’ championship, which would be its worst position since 1981 (when it finished in that spot) if it remains there at the end of the season.
Binotto recently said “that if you look back at all the winning cycles it is always many years” before teams are in position to be victorious after dropping away from the front of the pack.
When asked if he could wait that long by Autosport at the pre-event press conference for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Leclerc, who has a Ferrari contract until the end of 2024, said: “Well, on one hand, I don’t really have a choice.
“But yeah, surely it will take some patience and yes, I’m ready to wait.
“But it’s also my job to try and make this whole process as short as possible and for us to come back where we deserve to be.
“So, it’s not going to be easy. It will take time, but I’m ready for this. And my job is to give my best anyway in in every situation we are in.”
Ferrari’s struggles with the SF1000 are set to continue into 2021 as a result of the coronavirus cost-saving measures, which means the majority of the current cars will be carried over into next year.
Leclerc explained that he is splitting his focus between thinking about how best to lead Ferrari through its current problems while also being ready to make the most of the new designs arriving in 2022.
“Surely there’s a bit of both in my head, but I think the most important for now is try to work out why we are struggling so much this year,” he said when asked how he was considering Ferrari’s future by Autosport.
“This will help the future anyway.
“So, I’m trying to work as hard as possible, like everyone does in the team to try and find the issues and have a solid basis for the for the years to come.”