Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has admitted he would be willing to sacrifice any further results in 2021 if it meant he had a shot at fighting for the Formula 1 World Championship in 2022.
A tumultuous 2020 season saw the Scuderia finish seventh in the Constructors’ Championship. Improvements over the winter now see the Maranello outfit in fourth place, 19 points behind rivals McLaren.
Due to the massive overhaul in the technical regulations for 2022, teams are already turning their attention away from developing their 2021 cars any further in order to maximise their resources for next season.
When asked on the official F1 podcast Beyond The Grid if the hypothetical sacrifice would be something Leclerc would be interested in, he said: “If it guaranteed me a competitive season, I would take it but nobody has this guarantee, unfortunately.
“The focus [is] 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 we are still fighting with McLaren for third in the Constructors’, but at the end, we know our goal is to fight for the first position very soon and this will be from 2022 onwards and not this year.
“So I would be happy to give up third place in the constructors in 2021 to be fighting for first place in 2022.”
In 2019, Leclerc pledged his future to the team by signing a five-year contract which will see him remain with the Scuderia until 2024. He is even willing to see out his career in scarlet red, but only if success follows.
“I signed with Ferrari so I don’t call that a risk,” he added. “For me, it was an incredible opportunity. The first I was going to be a Ferrari driver I could not believe it and it’s a dream for me. For me, it was not a risk. I was signing for five years for the team I’ve always been dreaming of.
“Sure we are going through a more difficult moment, but that only motivates me to push even more and bring it back to where it belongs.
“Of course I would be [willing to stay], but I would be even happier if we get back to winning because that’s what matters and I know that’s what matters to the whole team.
“We are pushing like crazy to try and come back to winning because that’s what this team is used to doing.”