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Charles Leclerc

The unusual characteristic that sets Leclerc apart from his F1 rivals

Charles Leclerc's first F1 team boss, Fred Vasseur, has revealed more about the Monegasque's mindset and how he deals with setbacks.

Leclerc Verstappen Saudi
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Alfa Romeo chief Fred Vasseur says Charles Leclerc has a tendency to blame himself "very quickly" - and sometimes "too much" - when things go wrong.

Vasseur was Leclerc's first team boss in F1, playing a key role in the GP2 champion's development on and off the track, alongside support from Ferrari.

After a tricky start, Leclerc found a rhythm and consistently racked up points, with Ferrari opting to pair him alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel for 2019.

Podium finishes and race wins swiftly followed, before Ferrari's lean period in 2020 and 2021, and he now finds himself fighting against Red Bull rival Max Verstappen for the world title under F1's rules reset.

Vasseur praises Leclerc for never making excuses

While Leclerc's speed is rarely questioned, he has been criticised for making several high-profile mistakes over the years, most recently when he crashed in the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Speaking to select media, including RacingNews365.com, Vasseur revealed Leclerc's typical reaction to such incidents, and how the team he is driving for never get questioned.

"I don't know if it's a weakness or not, but a characteristic of Charles is that he is able to blame himself very quickly, sometimes for me too much," said Vasseur.

"But for a team, and for him personally, I think it's a very good approach, because he will never bring the team in the wrong direction [by] trying to hide something, and his reaction is always a good one after something like this.

"He doesn't try to find a bad excuse, that we didn't have the right set-up... [He thinks] 'I made a bad mistake' and that's it."

Leclerc dealing with a "mega" step up in 2022

With Leclerc facing his biggest test yet in 2022, as Ferrari and Red Bull go head-to-head for title glory, Vasseur expressed confidence that the 24-year-old can handle the pressure.

"I was convinced from the beginning that he is a good one," Vasseur commented, as he expanded on his respect for Leclerc.

"He's in a different situation this season, because I think there is a huge step in attention and pressure between starting in F1, or the last year he did with Ferrari, [when] he wasn't a contender. Even in 2019, he was not in a position to fight for the championship.

"For sure, there is a mega difference between being a contender on some occasions, to be able to win one or two races during the season, and to be a title contender, because you can't do a mistake [and] you can't lose too many points.

"You have to manage the race and the season, but I'm convinced that he will be able to do it."

Leclerc holds a 19-point lead over Verstappen in the Drivers' standings after the first five races of the season.

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