David Coulthard: Charles Leclerc has the mentality of an F1 World Champion

Former F1 driver David Coulthard believes Ferrari have a future World Champion in Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari's 2022 campaign has been flawed, to say the least, as strategical errors and reliability issues have hampered their bid to truly challenge Red Bull at the front of the grid.

Leclerc's results have consequently suffered. The Frenchman may be in second position in the standings but he trails Max Verstappen by 80 points with nine races left on the calendar.

Despite the team's failings, Leclerc has taken ownership of his mistakes and appears determined to improve himself as a driver.

When he crashed out of the lead at Paul Ricard, Leclerc admitted: "If I keep doing mistakes like this then I deserve not to win the championship."

This attitude is exactly what has convinced Coulthard that Leclerc can develop into a future champion.

"I wasn't surprised [by the comment] because that's been part of how he's been his whole time in Formula 1," he told Channel 4.

"Go back to Azerbaijan [qualifying, 2019] in the Ferrari, he popped it into the wall at the chicane and said 'I'm so stupid, I'm so stupid'. He's not stupid, he's a brilliantly fast racing driver.

"But he's still maturing in front of the public eye, under the biggest pressure in Formula 1, that's representing Ferrari. It's more than a racing company, it's a country, it's a worldwide tifosi [fandom]."

He added: "Once he's ironed out those little errors - and let's remind ourselves Max Verstappen made errors like that in his early career - he will be the real deal."

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