Charles Leclerc is in a precarious situation at Ferrari. The Monegasque is the undisputed team leader. He has a multi-year contract with the most historic team on the grid, and the Tifosi love him. However, he doesn't have the one thing that makes a Ferrari driver legendary: a race-winning car.
Leclerc doesn't even have a car capable of fighting for regular podiums, according to Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto's admission. Realistically, the first chance the Monegasque will have of challenging for wins will be in 2022. However, during this time, his rival from karting and the junior categories, Max Verstappen, will fight for the championship this year.
It is not easy to watch your rivals gain success, especially when Leclerc has the talent to win championships as well. However, the Monegasque is keeping a positive mindset, at least when speaking to the media.
Charles Leclerc became a Tifosi-favorite when he won at Monza in his debut year with Ferrari. His victory at the 'Temple of Speed' has made him a part of Ferrari lore, regardless of whether the Monegasque wins a championship. It is the love of his fans that lets Charles Leclerc remain confident in the team.
In a recent interview, Leclerc was asked about what Ferrari lacks compared to the other top teams. His reply is the reason for the Monegasque's likability within the team and its fans. Leclerc said:
“I know what they will never have and that only we have: the Tifosi. Millions of fans around the world. The passion that Ferrari creates, they [other teams] will always envy it."
You have to love what you do: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc's Formula 1 dream began being a Ferrari fan. Today, the Monegasque sees himself in the iconic red overalls and finds it impossible to believe that he fulfilled his dream.
“I was very young when I took the opportunity to watch the Monaco GP from a friend’s balcony. On the streets, I was only looking for the red car. I can’t even explain to you why. I was probably born as a Ferrari fan without knowing it. It felt like an unreachable dream [to one day drive for Ferrari]. So when I look at myself in red today, I am not only proud of it. It is still, every day, a total emotion.”
In a beautiful and inspiring exchange, Charles Leclerc spoke about the importance of aiming for the stars. Since his debut in Formula 1 in 2018 with Sauber, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength. Leclerc took the most pole positions in his debut year with Ferrari during the 2019 season. A non-competitive Ferrari in 2020 hampered Leclerc's progression, but the Monegasque has remained optimistic.
Charles Leclerc belongs at the front of the grid. The sooner the Scuderia can provide him with a car capable of challenging, the sooner the Tifosi will see the first Ferrari world champion since Kimi Raikkonen.