Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has offered high praise for Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc, suggesting he is reminiscent of F1 greats Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
Despite his 2020 car having taken a major step-back from the 2019 levels of performance that allowed him to take two victories and seven pole positions, Leclerc has continued to impress this season, with Brawn highlighting his fourth-place effort in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix as the latest example.
“It was another very strong performance from Charles and he continues to give Ferrari motivation for next year after what has been a very challenging campaign so far,” Brawn wrote in his post-race column on the official F1 website. “The team will know that when they are able to give him a more competitive car, he will deliver the results.
“A driver can go two ways when faced with a difficult car. It can demotivate them, their performances start to drop away and it helps no one. It’s a double whammy. Or a driver can do what Charles has done and dig even deeper and find extra performance that helps subsidise the team when things aren’t so great.”
“Through that process, when he does get [the] car underneath him, he will be a stronger driver.”
Previously technical director for the Benetton and Ferrari teams of Michael Schumacher, Brawn likened Leclerc’s efforts to that of the seven-time driver’s champion, as well as F1’s new record-holder for most wins, Lewis Hamilton.
“I often felt with Michael, there were races he won which he should not have won because the car wasn’t good enough but he managed to find a way to win. And that is what makes a world champion.
“Lewis has demonstrated that. He’s got a great car now, but I recall him winning races when the car was not a top performer. And Charles is doing similar at Ferrari right now.”