Leclerc expresses gratitude to Vettel after signing new Ferrari deal

By Sports Desk December 23, 2019

Charles Leclerc has expressed his gratitude to Sebastian Vettel for helping him to hit the ground running at Ferrari and is hungry to kick on after signing a new deal on Monday.

Leclerc's reward for an impressive first season with the Scuderia was a contract extension until the end of 2024.

The Monegasque finished in fourth place in the driver standings, 24 points better off than his team-mate Vettel.

Leclerc says he has learned from Vettel's vast experience in his second year in F1 and is determined to repay the faith Ferrari have put in him.

"I'm extremely [happy] about this year. I've learned a huge amount thanks to Seb," said the 22-year-old.

"Yeah, it's been a great year. For me a realisation of a dream since childhood. I've always dreamed to be in Formula One but especially with Ferrari.

"To be now with this team is unbelievable and now it's up to me to work, to get better, and hopefully give them the success they deserve."

The former Sauber driver added: "At the beginning of the season if you had told me I would have had seven poles and 10 podiums, I wouldn't have believed it.

"It's definitely better than what I expected, but looking back there were quite a lot of mistakes, so the target is to understand them.

"But yes, I am satisfied about this first season and it has not been an easy season. In the first part we were struggling but I think we have worked well and improved in the second half of the season.

"I had two incredible wins and Monza was all of my dreams – to be on top of that podium with hundreds and thousands of Ferrari fans below, these experiences, I will never forget them.

"Then again, I still have a lot of work to do to get better as a driver and I will put my head down and get better."

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