The team recently announced that current starter Mattia Binotto has resigned and will leave at the end of December, with his replacement yet to be confirmed.
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur, who has worked extensively with Leclerc in the past at both ART and Sauber, is widely seen as a favorite to get the job.
“Mattia called me to tell me he would quit,” Leclerc said. “I respect his decision. And I can only thank him. Obviously, he believed in me from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract.
“And before being the team principal, he was also inside the Scuderia for many, many years and he contributed to the success of the team in recent years.
“So I wish him the best. And obviously now it’s up to us to focus on the future, and try to make the right choices in order to be a bit more of a challenge for Red Bull next year. .
Leclerc played down the suggestion that a boss change could be disruptive due to a change in approach.
“To be honest I don’t know because in my own experience I never had a change of team manager when I was racing for the same team,” he said. “It will probably take some time for the team principal to get to grips with the system, and with Ferrari, because obviously they are a huge team.
“But I believe if it’s done the right way, I don’t think we’ll suffer from it on the track, so I’m pretty sure the transition will be smooth.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Ferrari
Leclerc stressed he would have no influence over who could replace Binotto, noting that the decision would be made by Ferrari chairman John Elkann and CEO Benedetto Vigna.
“I won’t comment on that,” he said when asked if he had a personal preference. “And obviously it’s not my decision either, John and Benedetto are going to make the decision.
“And we’re just trying to focus on our work in the simulator, with the team, to have the best possible race car for next year. But the decision will be made by them.”
However, when asked if Vasseur would be a good fit, he said he had a good relationship with his former boss.
“I mean, Ferrari is a very different team to all the other teams. I can only comment on my experience with Fred which was obviously good.
“I have already worked with Fred since the junior categories, where he believed in me, and then we have always had a good relationship.
“But other than that obviously it shouldn’t influence any of the decisions. He was always very direct, very honest. And that’s something I liked about Fred.
“Whether it was him or not, I don’t know. And hopefully we’ll see in the next few months.”