Sebastian Vettel believes Charles Leclerc will become one of Formula 1’s “big ones” in the years to comes as he fights for titles with Ferrari.
Leclerc entered Formula 1 in 2018 with Sauber, now Alfa Romeo, before being promoted to Ferrari after just one season.
Despite his minimal F1 experience, the Monégasque driver was the first of the Ferrari team-mates to win a grand prix last season, taking the chequered flag at Spa before adding Monza to his tally.
He also finished the season with the most pole positions of any driver and became only the second Formula 1 team-mate to beat Vettel in the standings.
And although 2020 is not going as well as last season did, Ferrari’s SF1000 down on power and pace, Leclerc has at least managed two podium results.
As such he is leading their charge, seventh in the standings on 45 points, 29 more than Vettel has managed.
The German, who is off to Aston Martin next season, has backed Leclerc to become a Formula 1 star in the future.
Asked about the team-mates he has worked with during his years in F1, Vettel said: “I liked [Daniel] Ricciardo a lot, he is a good rival.
“With Kimi [Raikkonen] I had no complications and I learned a lot from him on the track.
“With Charles it is interesting to see him emerge and grow, he has my place now.
“In the next decade he will be a big one in F1.”
Speaking at an event to honour Ferrari’s 1000th grand prix, the four-time World Champion was also asked to give his favourite moment as a Ferrari driver.
That, as to be expected, was his first win in red, which was at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.
“There is more than one so,” he said. “For sure it is not the qualifying today but we had so many good races also together. There is probably more than one.
“The first win is always special but after that we had many wins aswell so.”
Vettel's favourite Ferrari moment: "There is more than one so. For sure it is not the qualifying today but we had so many good races also together. There is probably more than one. The first win is always special but after that we had many wins aswell so." pic.twitter.com/QUfGrhw62B
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) September 12, 2020
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