Charles Leclerc has labelled 2020 as his “best season in Formula 1” despite Ferrari’s struggles throughout the year.

In only his third year racing in F1, Leclerc comfortably got the better of Sebastian Vettel during their final season together as teammates at Ferrari and was often able to get the most out of his underperforming machinery.

Ferrari plummeted to its worst result in the constructors’ championship since 1980 by finishing a lowly sixth, though Leclerc claimed two podiums and turned in a string of impressive qualifying displays throughout the year as he took eighth in the drivers’ standings.

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Despite the challenges, Leclerc considers 2020 to be his best season yet in terms of the level he has reached with his own performances.

"I think there are two sides of the season for me," Leclerc said.

"For myself, I think it's my best season personally in Formula 1. I think what I've shown on track I'm very happy with my season.

"I've taken risks, that most of the time went positively, and made us gain a lot of points. On a few occasions it also didn't happen the way I wanted and we've lost a few points.

"But I think, on the other hand, the season has been very positive for my own performance.

"So that I'm very happy [with], and now I'm looking forward to next year to see how much of a gain we will have.”

Leclerc said he was impressed by how Ferrari handled the difficult situation and was able to make improvements towards the end of the season.

"After Barcelona testing, I think we all knew that something was not quite right," the Monegasque explained.

"I think during the season, even though it was very difficult to accept the situation after the first race, because the reality was obvious, we worked very hard, and we worked in a constructive way.

"And I think we improved from that moment onwards. It was small steps, but as I said, small steps in the right direction and this is not always a given in Formula 1.

"Now, for the future, I think we've learned a lot from this season. And I think that we will only come back stronger. I hope that we can show that on track next year.

"I don't know how much of the big step we will do next year, but I'm sure that the step we will do will be in the right direction."