Former Ferrari Driver Academy boss compares Leclerc to Alonso


Massimo Rivola, the former head of Ferrari's Driver Academy, is confident Charles Leclerc will be given a fair chance to win at the Scuderia this season.

After an impressive maiden season in F1 with Sauber, Leclerc was chosen to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Maranello and race alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2019.

Many view the line-up as a redoubtable association but also a potential source of disruption for Vettel given the high expectations surrounding Leclerc.

Rivola was at the helm of Ferrari's Driver Academy from 2016 to the end of last year, having since joined the Aprilia MotoGP squad, but the Italian oversaw Leclerc's progression and his move to a race seat with the Scuderia.

"I believe and hope that Ferrari will give both the same opportunities, and that the best will prevail," Rivola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"There is no doubt that 2019 is considered an apprenticeship for Charles, but you can be sure that he will try to win right away."

Assessing Leclercl's talent, Riviola believes the 21-year-old Monegasque is more like a young Fernando Alonso than Vettel.

"I had the opportunity to work with Sebastian when he debuted in Toro Rosso, and with Alonso in his debut season in Minardi," said Rivola.

"It is Fernando with the same anger as Charles in qualifying, and the same ability to always show amazing results," he added.

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