Leclerc has the mindset of a champion - Alfa Romeo boss

Image: TeamTalk
Image: TeamTalk

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has the kind of self-confidence one would find in a world champion, so says Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur.

Vasseur worked with Leclerc during the latter's first season at Formula 1 level when the team was known as Sauber.

Since then, Leclerc has continued to go from strength to strength and shown plenty of promise in his first year at Ferrari.

However, Leclerc's first season with the Scuderia was by no means perfect, but Vasseur feels that how the 22-year-old responds and reacts to his off-days is making him into World Championship-winning material.

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Traits of a champion

Vasseur said via AutoSport: "I think it's one of the characteristics of Charles, but mainly of champions, [to be] very, very self-confident in the car. They can sometimes be able to do things coming from the moon because they have a huge self-confidence.

"And this self-confidence allows them, when they are out of the car, to have self-criticism, to blame themselves, because they know perfectly that they have the potential, they are a champion, and they can say 'okay, I had a poor drive today.'

"And it's only a champion who is able to say something like this. On paper they are better than the others, but he's able to blame himself - 'OK, forget the session, I had a poor drive'. And it's good for the team because when it's not the case, they could bring you in the wrong direction."

READ: 'I must do better,' admits Vettel as Leclerc shines for Ferrari

Deserved drive

Vasseur went on to say that Leclerc is the only driver outside his own team that he keeps an eye on and Leclerc "200% deserves" all the success.

He added: "I'm pleased for him because he did a great season that could have been perhaps a bit better without Bahrain and other races, but he did a great job. He's got incredible pace in qualifying, this is quite impressive. I'm more than happy for him because for me he deserves it 200%. He's the only one that I keep an eye on."

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