Charles Leclerc says his Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson deserves more respect. Leclerc is the Ferrari-backed reigning F2 champion, who entered F1 this year as one of the hottest new talents on the grid for a decade.
But at present, it is the Swiss team's existing driver, the often maligned Swede Ericsson, who arguably has the upper hand. "He is a very good driver," Leclerc told Speed Week.
"He has a bad reputation, but I don't think he deserves it," the 20-year-old added. "He has been very fast and made it difficult for me. But I can learn a lot from him and I hope it stays that way," Leclerc said.
Ericsson, however, returned the compliment, calling the Monaco-born Leclerc "the best teammate I've ever had". "He's very, very fast, but I feel like I've improved."
He said one reason for that is the weight he lost over the winter. "I always had that disadvantage," Ericsson explained. "It's hard because you try to tell people but they don't consider it. But I see it now as a great opportunity to show what I can do and how I've developed as a driver." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing