Piero Ferrari believes Charles Leclerc still “can still grow” into a better driver when comparing to an on-form Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver has become the favourite to secure the 2023 title after a crushing victory against teammate Sergio Perez in the Miami Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, last season’s runners-up Ferrari have struggled to live with the pace of the RB19 car, with their quest for results unaided by errors for Charles Leclerc in the most recent race.
When discussing the 2023 with Autosprint, Piero Ferrari, son of Ferrari founder Enzo, described Verstappen as being at his “peak”.
“He is incredibly fast. He was already driving in F1 when he didn’t even have a driver’s license in his possession,” said Ferrari.
“I was there when he got his first victory in Barcelona. He made his mistakes after that, his accidents. Now he is young and already has a lot of experience. He is a great driver who is now at the peak of his career.”
Ferrari’s verdict on current drivers
Across the last few seasons, Leclerc has developed something of an accident-prone reputation in Formula 1, with high-profile mistakes hampering his first sniff of a World Championship title in 2022.
When reviewing how his own drivers matched up to Verstappen, Ferrari believes there is room for growth from the Monegasque.
“Charles has the speed to be equal to Verstappen,” added Ferrari.
“But he has less experience, in terms of number of GPs. Leclerc can still grow, he will grow…. “
When asked for his assessment of teammate Carlos Sainz, Ferrari responded: “Bravo, I think we have not yet seen his true full potential, we are waiting for it.”