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Charles Leclerc Is Not at Par With Max Verstappen in Terms of Performance, Claims F1 Expert

Sabyasachi Biswas

Charles Leclerc Is Not at Par With Max Verstappen in Terms of Performance, Claims F1 Expert

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are two of F1’s most talented drivers. But while Verstappen has gone on to become a three-time world champion, dominating the grid over the years, Leclerc struggles to get a hold of his teammate at Ferrari. A lot of it has to do with the team surrounding Leclerc, as F1 expert Peter Windsor analyzes why Verstappen holds a slight advantage over the Monegasque driver.

Windsor feels that Leclerc and Verstappen are similar in terms of talent. However, Verstappen managed to develop better, because of having people like Adrian Newey in his vicinity throughout his career.

“He hasn’t developed his talent as far as Max has developed his talent,” said Windsor on his YouTube channel. “And I think that can be seen in qualifying right now when he’s not doing as well as Sainz, let alone Max.”

Verstappen has worked, not just with Newey, but with a set of top engineers since making his debut with Red Bull in 2016. There haven’t been a lot of changes in the team, thus creating a balanced working environment in which the Dutchman has learned a lot. Leclerc, on the other hand, is part of a Ferrari team that has witnessed several changes since he joined in 2019.

Windsor also pointed out that Leclerc’s strategists and engineers didn’t help his cause, with repeated errors and goof-ups hindering his progress. Additionally, driving for Ferrari comes with its own different level of pressure. The 26-year-old is always under the spotlight, and vulnerable to criticism at making the smallest of mistakes. Per Windsor, this puts Leclerc below Verstappen in terms of performance, even though, “based on natural talent, Leclerc is very close to Max.”


Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari difficulties

Leclerc started the 2022 season on a strong note, setting up the stage for a potential title fight with Verstappen. He won two of the opening three rounds, but a fall from grace was looming. Ferrari’s mistakes, which Windsor spoke about, spoiled the Monegasque’s season, and his confidence took a hit. He started making mistakes on the track, which led to him losing big points on several occasions and Verstappen ended up winning the title with four races remaining.

Since then, Leclerc has struggled to find that level of consistency at the front of the grid. Ferrari’s performance dropped in 2023, and Carlos Sainz stepped up his game. Leclerc finished P2 in the standings in 2022, but dropped down to P5 in 2023, signaling a slight slump.

2024 hasn’t been too much better for Leclerc. Ferrari has improved in terms of performance, and has closed the gap to Red Bull. Unfortunately for Leclerc, his teammate Carlos Sainz is outperforming him.

Sainz is P4 with 55 points, four behind Leclerc in P3, but did not compete in one race due to his appendicitis. Often labeled as Ferrari’s poster-boy, Leclerc will be hoping to improve his form in the coming races, and regain his confidence, as he looks to topple Max Verstappen and win his first-ever world title.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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