Over the past couple of seasons, Sebastian Vettel has caught a lot of flak for his inability to perform. However, his teammate Charles Leclerc still respects him and values his input. He praised Vettel and admitted that his demeanour is very professional and detail-oriented.
Leclerc was arguably thrown into the deep end when he was recruited into the Scuderia Ferrari ranks in his second season in F1. Admittedly, although the Monegasque driver is highly talented, he lacks experience when compared to his teammate Vettel. So, the German driver was largely seen as the de facto team leader.
Unfortunately, not everything was smooth sailing for the Ferrari F1 duo. The lowest point for the team was when things boiled over at the Brazilian Grand Prix and the pair collided. Luckily, they worked it out between them and their relationship was patched up. In spite of the hiccup, Leclerc still respects Vettel and feels that he has been able to improve in almost all areas, when under Vettel’s guidance.
How was Vettel’s presence influential for Charles Leclerc?
One major area of improvement was giving feedback to engineers when trying to aid in the development of the Ferrari. As a bonus, Sebastian Vettel is easy to get along with, so working with him is more enjoyable. In a fans Q&A at Autosport International, Charles Leclerc said, “Obviously we’ve had our moments on the track where he learnt together and hopefully some won’t happen again, things like in Brazil.”
Leclerc’s improvement as a driver was visible when he beat Vettel in the 2019 F1 drivers’ world championship. He was the second teammate to ever defeat Vettel in the championship, with the other one being Daniel Ricciardo. Making matters even sweeter was the fact that Leclerc clinched two wins to his teammate’s single victory, as well as seven pole positions to the German’s two.