Charles Leclerc gets Ferrari president’s support despite lack of success - “There is no reason why he wouldn't be world champion”

F1 Las Vegas Auto Racing
Charles Leclerc speaks to the media ahead of the 2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

With almost five years into their partnership, Ferrari president John Elkann remains resolute in his belief in Charles Leclerc's abilities and potential.

The year was 2019 when 21-year-old Charles Leclerc joined Ferrari, replacing veteran Kimi Raikkonen. An impressive fourth-place finish ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel was enough for the Italian giants to hand a lucrative 5-year contract to the Monegasque.

A long-term deal meant only one thing: Ferrari billed Leclerc as the successor to their legacy. Millions of hopes were put on his shoulders to bring an end to the Prancing Horse's championship drought.

However, as both parties stand at the end of the four-year mark of that contract, it is safe to say that the success they desired has eluded both Ferrari and Leclerc would've hoped. As Leclerc heads into the final year of his contract in 2024, his future with his current employers looks uncertain.

However, irrespective of how challenging the journey has been for the 26-year-old driver, Ferrari president John Elkann still remains confident of Charles Leclerc's ceiling.

In a recent interview with BBC Sport, the 47-year-old expressed his trust in the team and its drivers, saying:

"Charles is a very strong pilot who has huge potential and there is no reason why he wouldn't be world champion."
"We believe our pilots are very strong and have very strong potential. What is important is to be able to work to convert that potential into real outcomes," he added.

Should Charles Leclerc leave Ferrari? F1 veteran's advice to the Monegasque

As Charles Leclerc enters the final year of his Ferrari contract, speculations of his future away from the Italian side have been looming. However, the former F1 driver and racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck has a unique take on Leclerc's future dilemma.

In a recent interview with Eurosport, Stuck said:

"If Ferrari wants you, there is no answer. This needs to be emphasised. Maybe I’m too much of a traditionalist. There is probably nothing better than driving for Ferrari."

Stuck recognized Charles Leclerc's bad luck and the immense pressure he placed on himself. The 72-year-old said:

"The fact that Leclerc is experiencing this disappointing period at Ferrari is of course bad luck. He also probably put a lot of pressure on himself because he knew that Ferrari was the chance of a lifetime. But there are also other well-known drivers who failed at Ferrari."

Charles Leclerc will be back in action for the final race of the 2023 season in Abu Dhabi later this weekend.

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Edited by Pritha Ghosh