Leclerc denies Sainz will be Ferrari number 2

Leclerc (R) drove a Ferrari around the streets of Monaco early Sunday morning for filming of the remake of Le Grand Rendez-vous
Leclerc (R) drove a Ferrari around the streets of Monaco early Sunday morning for filming of the remake of Le Grand Rendez-vous

(GMM) Charles Leclerc has denied that he will be the undisputed 'number 1' at Ferrari from 2021.

Ferrari's move to oust Sebastian Vettel and replace him with Carlos Sainz Jr. has been interpreted as a clear hierarchical shift for the Maranello team.

But after driving a Ferrari sports car around the Monaco circuit on Sunday, Leclerc told L'Equipe: "I am not becoming the number 1.

"I think Carlos is a great driver and if that is not obvious to everyone already, he will show it at Ferrari.

"He will be a great challenge for me," the 22-year-old added.

As for whether he will miss the quadruple world champion Vettel, with whom he clashed at times in 2019, Leclerc answered: "It's true that he taught me a lot of things.

"I'm very happy to have had him as a teammate because he is a very experienced driver."

However, he admitted that "it's true" that the situation with Sainz will be different.

"But of course Carlos is going to challenge me. He is going to be very fast," said Leclerc.

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