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Sauber: Don't compare Leclerc to Hamilton

Written by  Nov 05, 2018

Sauber team boss Fred Vasseur believes comparisons between Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton should be avoided in 2019.

Both drivers have some similarities in their path to Formula 1 with ties to big teams during their junior careers and impressive championship-winning year's in GP2/F2.

The Monegasque will also step up to the front of the grid as a fresh-faced youngster but with a year of experience with Sauber, Vasseur sees that as a key difference.

“I don’t compare Charles today with people such as Lewis,” the Frenchman was quoted by F1i.com.

“First of all, Lewis was more than 10 years ago and he drove for McLaren, they were a title contender, so there was a big aspect of differences at the same stage, with Lewis.

“When Charles joined us, we were at the back of the grid, so Charles’ approach was a completely different one,” he added.

Vasseur does think Leclerc has benefitted from a rookie year in a lower pressure environment compared to Hamilton who was thrown right in at the deep end.

“It was much easier to start with Sauber, I think," he said. "He struggled a little bit on his first appearance, with so little testing but step by step, the pace was quite fast and he improved a lot in his management skills.”

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In the end, however, there's only one outcome the team boss expects from Leclerc at Ferrari, world championships.

“Will he surprise next year? You never know, because at first, it will depend on the value of the car that is in your business,” he explained.

“It is always relative, but the car is improving, Charles is improving and everything is there on the table for him.”

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