Irvine: 'Clever' Leclerc much better than Verstappen


Former Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine is a big fan of Charles Leclerc whom he considers to be much better than Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

Verstappen and Leclerc are seen as the current leaders of Grand Prix racing's young generation, although the former - who turned 22 last month - is already on his fifth season of F1, having clocked up seven wins during his career.

But Leclerc's stock has soared in his second year at the pinnacle of motorsport, on the back of two consecutive wins - at Spa and Monza - and a string of pole positions

Not only is the Monegasque the real McCoy as far as Irvine is concerned, he's also "much better" than his Red Bull counterpart according to the Ulsterman.

"There is no argument, Leclerc is much, much better," the four-time Grand Prix said last weekend while attending Italy's 'Il Festival dello Sport' in Trento.

"He has four poles this year [Leclerc actually has six poles] and he does not even have the best car in F1 - sorry Ferrari - while Verstappen continues to make many stupid mistakes despite having been in F1 for years, many more than Leclerc.

"Charles looks to be very focused and someone who doesn’t make mistakes. He could have won more than two races and he doesn’t have the best car. This tells you a lot.

"And then in Monza what he did racing against Hamilton was crazy, maybe not 100 percent legal but amazing to watch.

"He’s very clever, intelligent and very good. Much better than Verstappen for me there is no discussion."

Another former member of the F1 family who doesn't have much doubt about Leclerc's outstanding talent is Flavio Briatore.

The former Renault team boss says Ferrari should put its full weight behind its young charger and demote teammate Sebastian Vettel to number 2 status.

"Leclerc is faster than Vettel and ready to win the title," Briatore told Italian radio Rai Gr Parlamento.

"If I was the team principal there, I would choose him as my first driver. He may not be perfect, but he still takes the car to the finish line.

"Everyone works together as a team, but that's just talk," added the flamboyant Italian. "You have to choose a driver for the drivers' world championship otherwise you will never win it.

"Vettel can stay because he is a good, but only as the second driver."

You're too kind Flav…

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