“Charles, you are the most talented driver I have ever met”. – With these words Sebastian Vettel greeted the Monegasque driver, leaving Ferrari at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc was in fact able to match the four-time Formula 1 world champion in the garage of the Maranello Scuderia already in the second race of his career with amazing performance in Bahrain one year ago, which sadly ended without a win due to an engine issue. In 2019 Charles Leclerc got the better of Sebastian Vettel in various statistical items that were certainly not secondary (pole positions, victories, podiums, points won) and so Ferrari decided to bet everything on the Monegasque driver who was formed by the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Sebastian Vettel thus found himself in the position of being the ‘fifth wheel’ in Ferrari and from 2021 alongside Charles Leclerc there will be Carlos Sainz, with the German destined to be an image man on and off the track of Aston Martin. Fernando Alonso thus analyzed the situation at Ferrari and the assessments that prompted Mattia Binotto and the other leaders of the Prancing Horse to focus on his compatriot to complete the pair of drivers together with Charles: “It is connected to several reasons. Ferrari knew about the investigation on the 2019 engine, it was aware that it could not win. In these conditions a world champion without the potential to win for a long time would have increased the pressure. And then, after 5 years, it became clear that Seb could not be the savior of Ferrari, that Leclerc has more potential. Sainz must have seemed the right driver to accompany Charles ” , explained Alonso in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Regarding the undoubted talent of Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso underlines that it will be necessary to evaluate the work of the Monegasque in the coming seasons: “Leclerc is an exceptional talent but to really measure him it will take a few years” . For now, the Ferrari driver impressed in 2019 and in 2020 he raced without any pressure, being able to take risks without having much to lose. 2021 should still be a year of transition, with Ferrari having its sights set on 2022.
Renault-Alpine is also looking forward to the technical revolution and maybe Alonso will be the one to give the ‘measure’ of Charles Leclerc’s talent and value.