Charles Leclerc believes Lewis Hamilton's resume speaks for itself, downplaying suggestions anyone could step into the Mercedes and have success after George Russell's efforts in relief of the Brit last season.
The seven-time world champion was forced to sit out the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus, with the team opting to bring in Russell as his replacement. The Williams driver led most of the race before a pitstop error and puncture ultimately ended his hopes of claiming victory.
Since then some have questioned Hamilton's ability, stating anyone could win in the Mercedes given how dominant the Silver Arrows have been, but Leclerc told the Italian language version of Motorsport.com that those doubters are far off the mark.
"I think that his resume speaks for itself," Leclerc said. "There are still people that say he drives the best car, but I don't think he's in that position by chance."
Asked about how he navigates criticism, Leclerc made it clear he's learning to deal with the noise as he's honest with himself regarding his performance.
"I am learning season by season that I have to answer above all to myself," Leclerc added. "I know when I've done a good job and when I could have done more.
"However there are moments when you know you have given your all and that you've done well, but that isn't acknowledged by the outside world, and this can be frustrating at times."