Charles Leclerc says the upcoming 2020 Formula 1 season will be a “very important year” for Ferrari ahead of a major regulation overhaul in 2021.

Ferrari has not won a constructors’ championship since 2008 and has been waiting on a drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen’s 2007 triumph. The Scuderia has made gains to close the gap to chief rival Mercedes in recent years, though it has been unable to end the German manufacturer’s dominant run of success in the V6 hybrid era.

A rules shakeup in 2021 could impact the competitive order and Leclerc hopes Ferrari can utilise its 2020 campaign to take the fight to Mercedes the following year.

“I hope in 2020 I can win the title, but I am happy to wait until 2021 if I have the title for sure,” Leclerc said at Autosport International.

“It is going to be very difficult and I think 2020 will be a very important year when teams are going to invest a lot because the budget cap is coming in from 2021.

“I will try to be as ready as possible for 2021 as I think it will be a big year and hopefully we will be working properly as a team to build a right car to be able to win the championship.”

Leclerc enjoyed a stellar first season at Ferrari, racking up two victories and seven pole positions on his way to beating four-time world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings.

Asked what his individual targets are for 2020, Leclerc replied: “The goal is always to target the highest possible so in case I fail to get there I only go a little bit below.

“Basically, it is to be world champion which is very, very optimistic but I will always target very high.

“This is it and I will try to give everything to try to win. In the end I am driving, for me, the best team and I just want to give them what they deserve so it is up to me to do the job on the track.”

 

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