Leclerc hype is "absolutely justified" - Vettel

Sebastian Vettel believes the hype around Ferrari protege and Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc is "absolutely justified", while Lewis Hamilton says he has the potential to do "great things".

Leclerc hype is "absolutely justified" - Vettel

Ferrari Driver Academy graduate Leclerc, who maintains close links to the Italian team, stepped up to F1 this year after back-to-back titles in GP3 and Formula 2.

After a tricky beginning to his rookie season Leclerc has scored points in two successive races, including a sixth-place finish in Azerbaijan.

Asked by Motorsport.com about their opinion of Leclerc, Vettel said "the hype is absolutely justified" while Lewis Hamilton said he has "the potential to do great things here".

"If there's no hype around him, then I don't understand who should be hyped," said Vettel.

"You walk through all the categories like that, then you belong here."

Vettel said he sees no reason Leclerc will not race for Ferrari in the future, adding: "The races he's had so far, he used his opportunities.

"He scored points with a car that doesn't belong in the points so he's doing everything he can at the moment."

Four-time world champion Hamilton said he watches the junior categories with his Mercedes team, and that included monitoring Leclerc's progress.

"What he's done in the last couple of years has been great to see," said Hamilton.

"Formula 1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport, which it is, but it's supposed to have the best drivers from around the world and in all honesty, you couldn't say that there's the best drivers – the 100% best drivers – from all the nations around the world.

"So it's really great to see a really talented kid come through, that's really earned his way.

"He has the potential to do great things here and you can't say that about every kid that's come through in the past years.

"It's such an expensive sport, so you don't always have the most talented that have the money but it's great to see a real talented kid come through. I wish him all the best."

Both four-time world champions were also asked by Motorsport.com what advice they would give the 20-year-old, who was sat alongside them during the Wednesday press conference as they spoke.

"Just get on with it and just enjoy it," said Vettel.

"The cars that we're driving are the fastest cars in the world and that's what you should be looking for, not all the noise that sometimes happens around.

"It's important that you know why you want to be here and you look at what's really important to you.

"The rest is not that much of your concern."

Hamilton added: "The most important thing is to try and keep your feet on the ground, keep your family close and just enjoy the ride. Don't take it too seriously.

"Every experience ahead is going to be a learning curve, good or bad, but that's going to be a part of the making of who you are."

shares
comments
Why Red Bull looks unbeatable in Monaco after Day 1

Previous article

Why Red Bull looks unbeatable in Monaco after Day 1

Next article

Blasting around Monaco in a classic Williams

Blasting around Monaco in a classic Williams
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021