Vettel tips Leclerc to be a 'big one' in F1 as Charles reveals initial 'intimidation'

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Sebastian Vettel is tipping Charles Leclerc to become a "big one" with Ferrari in the future.

The Monegasque has been quick to make his mark at the Scuderia as he has largely outperformed the four-time world champion since joining at the start of last year.

However, while Leclerc has rarely looked out of place at Ferrari, despite being their youngest driver in 50 years, he admitted the prospect of partnering Vettel was initially quite scary.

“At the beginning of my time at Ferrari, it was different to what I had with my other teammates because Seb was such a champion,” he told in an interview last weekend.

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“Like with Ferrari I was also intimidated with Seb at first, which is normal, but actually he’s a very normal guy and a very nice guy.

“We have got on very well from the beginning. There is a competitiveness that plays a role in the relationship but that never changes the way we speak to each other. That was a good thing.

“There were moments that were a bit more difficult, like Brazil, which always happens, but I think we managed the situation quite well and we managed to turn the page quite quickly after that.”

And that respect was noted as Vettel praised the 22-year-old as Ferrari celebrated their 1000th Grand Prix last weekend at Mugello.

“I liked [Daniel] Ricciardo a lot, he is a good rival. With Kimi [Raikkonen] I had no complications and I learned a lot from him on the track," he said running through his former teammates.

“With Charles, it is interesting to see him emerge and grow, he has my place now.

“In the next decade, he will be a big one in F1.”

With still plenty of years ahead of him, however, Leclerc knows he'll have to keep improving to take on the plethora of other young talented drivers.

“This is key and that is the biggest step I have done in my career, being more patient,” he added.

“In the beginning, I wanted everything straight away. I was only seeing the negatives. Be more patient and cheering myself up a bit more – these two things I would say to my younger self.”