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Why Leclerc feels Ferrari have 'grown a lot' in 2021

Charles Leclerc has reflected on Ferrari's improved 2021 season and his hopes for next year, when new regulations will be introduced.

Charles Leclerc believes that Ferrari progressed "massively" in 2021 compared to their disastrous 2020 campaign, leaving him hopeful for next year's regulation overhaul. After several seasons of progress, Ferrari rose as high as second in the 2019 standings with three victories and 16 more podiums, but slumped to sixth overall in 2020 - following an FIA investigation into their power unit - and failed to win a race. Ferrari regrouped for 2021, bringing in Carlos Sainz to partner Leclerc as Sebastian Vettel's replacement, while making solid gains with their car and power unit, which received a significant upgrade towards the end of the season .

Ferrari have "grown a lot"

As a result, Ferrari climbed back up to third in the Constructors' standings, beating McLaren at the end of a season-long battle. Although the team didn't win a race, they claimed five podiums and two pole positions, both at the hands of Leclerc. Speaking to accredited media, including RacingNews365.com , Leclerc reflected: "We have progressed as a team massively compared to last year, where 2020 was extremely difficult, but we worked as a team in the right direction. "We've finally seen a bit of the result of that season and I hope [there's] a lot more to come from next year onwards." As for where Ferrari have grown, and whether he expects the team to be able to capitalise on a competitive car in 2022, Leclerc said: "Yes, I think we've optimised the track operations, strategy and just a way of trying to maximise our package. "I think we've done a great job this past year. There is, of course, still a lot to work on, on the overall package of the car, but as a team we are working well. "We know what our what are our weaknesses, we are working on them, and we've definitely grown a lot as a team in the past year."

Leclerc's "unlucky" season

Regarding his own season, Leclerc was restricted to just one podium finish at the British Grand Prix, having suffered misfortune in Monaco (when he was unable to start from pole after his crash at the end of qualifying) and been taken out at Turn 1 in Hungary. Leclerc ended the year seventh in the standings, 5.5 points and two spots behind teammate Sainz, with McLaren's Lando Norris splitting the pair. With the aforementioned setbacks in mind, Leclerc declared himself "happy" with his efforts. "I hate to say that, or at least in the past, but this year I've been quite unlucky in some places where we've lost very significant points - with Monaco, with Budapest and other places as well," he commented. "It's part of a season and, apart from that, I think I've had a good season."

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