“He Politically Killed Sebastian”- Former F1 Driver Reveals Why Charles Leclerc Is “Much Smarter” Than Sebastian Vettel

July 14, 2020 4:27 pm

Ferrari’s trip to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg was one to forget. Both races involved an awful qualifying session followed by a fatal error during the race. While Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc made equally silly blunders, Ralf Schumacher believes Leclerc was a lot smarter in accepting his mistake.

The ex-F1 driver also thinks that the Monegasque driver ‘politically killed’ Vettel last season.

How Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc dealt with their mistakes

At the Austrian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel attempted a halfhearted lunge down the inside of Carlos Sainz. The move resulted in the German spinning his Ferrari. It was an amateur mistake, however, Vettel chose to blame the car instead of holding himself accountable.

During his post-race radio and interviews, the 4-time World Champion talked about how undrivable the SF1000 was. Going through the onboard footage, it was clear just how bad the Scuderia’s 2020 car was.

One week on, another Ferrari driver made a clumsy move, only this time, it was Charles Leclerc. In sharp contrast to Vettel’s remarks, Leclerc was critical of himself. The 22-year-old took full responsibility and apologized to his team.

Despite committing the cardinal sin in F1, Charles’ diplomacy after running into his teammate made a lot of difference. According to Schumacher, Charles’ behavior was a lot “smarter” compared to that of Vettel.

Exciting how differently Charles and Sebastian deal with errors. I have to honestly say: That makes Leclerc much smarter than Sebastian. 

“He immediately stood up and apologized to everyone: “My mistake!” That sounds a lot better than “I was unhappy with my car! I was happy that I stayed on the track.” So his mistake doesn’t feel that bad.

“He is nice and can still extend his elbows. In the team, he politically killed Sebastian. Last year. In no time. He is astonishingly far for his young age,” wrote Schumacher in a column for Sky Germany. (as translated by google)

At the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, Leclerc voiced his frustrations over the team radio after Vettel’s undercut. Despite being annoyed in the car, Leclerc’s demeanor was near normal during the post-race presentation.

By moderating his approach to dealing with unfavorable situations, Charles cleverly expressed his thoughts whilst simultaneously protecting the team.

That attitude goes a long way, as nobody is bigger than Ferrari.

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