If Charles Leclerc was promoted to Ferrari after just one year with the Alfa Romeo F1 team, thanks to outstanding performances, his start to the 2018 season would not have been as good as hoped at the time.
In any case, said Beat Zendher, the team’s sports director. According to him, the Monegasque, who had just won the title in quick succession in GP3 then in Formula 2, needed more time than expected to adapt to Formula 1.
« He was very talented, he needed a little more time than we expected, » revealed Zendher for the Beyond the Grid Podcast.
« He was scoring his first points in Baku if I’m not mistaken. Until this race he was struggling because driving an F1 is a bit different from driving an F2. »
The rest of the season, on the other hand, was very successful for Leclerc: he easily outclassed his teammate at the time Marcus Ericcson (17-4 in qualifying, 39 points to 9 in the championship), and Zendher admits that he did not attend only very few drivers as talented as him since his debut at Sauber in 1993.
« All of us, including him I think, were expecting him to adapt a bit quicker. »
“But, at the end of the day, he is probably the most complete driver I have ever worked with. Whether it is in terms of natural talent, racing intelligence, concentration, etc. He will be champion of the world one day. »