Charles Leclerc admits he is under pressure at Ferrari to perform.
Many think the 25-year-old Monegasque is as fast in raw terms as back-to-back reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
The difference, they say, is Leclerc’s mistakes.
“Somehow he makes a mistake every weekend,” said former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.
1996 world champion Damon Hill agrees: “He keeps on making mistakes, even on qualifying laps.”
And David Coulthard added: “Charles drives with a touch of desperation and at times looks beyond his ability.”
But at an event at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters for team sponsor Bitdefender, Leclerc said he is well aware of the scrutiny and pressure he’s under.
“Pressure? I have a lot of pressure, especially since I’ve been with this team,” he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It requires a lot of passion and responsibility, because many people are disappointed even at the smallest mistake.
But I always dreamed of driving in Formula 1 for Ferrari, so I understand these responsibilities. We must be prepared for it.
“In our sport, pressure is normal. You keep fighting even when things don’t go as you would expect.”