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Leclerc's performances have surprised Ferrari in 2019

Leclerc's performances have surprised Ferrari in 2019

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Leclerc's performances have surprised Ferrari in 2019

Leclerc's performances have surprised Ferrari in 2019

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto hailed Charles Leclerc's start to life as a Scuderia driver and admitted that the Monegasque has surprised the team with his ability to improve at a rapid pace.

Leclerc has taken pole positions in Bahrain and Austria this year, having ironed out issues with over-trying in qualifying which had seen him crash in Azerbaijan's Saturday scrap.

Although the 21-year-old is yet to win his maiden grand prix, he remains on the coattails of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, as well as Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas in the battle behind runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

It is in sharp contrast to close friend Pierre Gasly, who similarly stepped up to one of F1's major teams this year, but has been dropped by Red Bull after poor performance.

"If I look at the first half of the season, I think [it is] very positive, the way how Charles is growing, because there was a lot of expectations at first, a lot of pressure on him, on his shoulders, because obviously driving a Ferrari is driving a Ferrari, and [especially] while you are so young," Binotto told Motorsport.com.

"He's a talent, we knew it, but I think he's really learning from mistakes and that's more important. Even his collaboration with the team, his way of supporting the team in the development of the car, is improving race by race, day by day, that's another positive of the first half.

"We knew that he was a talent, we knew that he was very strong when attacking or defending, because we could've seen that in F3 [GP3] and F2.

"I think if there's anything that's surprising us is how much he's improving through the races. And I think race after race, his weekend is becoming more solid and solid, and I think he can even do better than what's he's doing."

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