Ferrari was well off the pace of Red Bull in the season-opening Sakhir race and Leclerc retired early with a power unit issue. His team-mate Carlos Sainz lost out to Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin on the way to fourth.
Since then stories in the Italian media have suggested that the team is in disarray, with key people said to be leaving.
However Leclerc says that a meeting of the whole Maranello staff proved positive as he acknowledged his role to help motivate the team to make progress.
“Well yes, because it’s only the first race of the season,” he said. “I still believe in it and, of course, we still need to all believe in it.
“We’ve still got many, many races to go and we still need to be fighting like crazy to be back at the top.
“It hasn’t gone as planned and when it’s Ferrari that doesn’t go as well as it should, then there are lots of voices and all of these things around the team.
“But we need to be good at spending our energy right inside the team pushing in the same direction and make a difference and come back stronger.
“And I feel that this has been the case in the last few weeks, so I’m really looking forward to being back on track. Stop the talk and get back to driving.”
Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur hosted a team meeting in Maranello which Leclerc described as “fully positive”.
Photo by: Ferrari
Leclerc said he was “surprised” by the positive reaction in the camp when he paid a visit after reading the negative stories in the media.
“Honestly, I obviously saw these rumours and then I went to Maranello,” he said.
“So at first I was not sure how the team is going to react to it. But then we’ve had a meeting with a whole team, with all the Ferrari employees.
“And I was really surprised. Everybody’s fully on it and fully positive, which is great.”
Leclerc also denied a media story that suggested that he had contacted Ferrari chairman John Elkann for reassurances about the team’s future.
“This is absolutely untrue,” he said. “I mean, again, there have been loads of rumours around the team, and for once 90% of them were completely unfounded.
“I don’t know from where it is coming. And to be honest, I don’t even want to spend any energy on trying to find from where it’s coming from, we just need to be on it, and focus on ourselves.”
Sainz agreed that there was a good spirit in the camp despite certain people back in Italy “trying to destabilise” the team.
“It is a lot better than what the news makes it sound like,” said the Spaniard. “Because when you look back at this last week, and how many rumours there’s been around, it seems like the place is not in a great moment.
“But I can tell you, it is so clear to us what we need to improve, how we need to do it, and what are the short, medium and long term targets that I actually am very surprised how some people back at home have been trying to destabilise a bit the team.
“Some call it crisis, but we’ve only done one race and it’s impossible to judge the performance in this race.
“We are the first ones who are not happy with how this first race went and we are the most bothered about it, and we are the most affected by it. We are going to try as much as possible to try and improve it.
“I see people at home committed, focused and with a very clear target in mind. And I include myself in it.”
Leave a Reply