Charles Leclerc displayed that he is a Formula 1 champion in the making with his performance at an ultimately luckless Bahrain Grand Prix, according to rival team principal, Mercedes' Toto Wolff. Leclerc ought to have won from pole in Sakhir, but was let down by a late engine problem.
The Silver Arrows' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were the ones to benefit from Leclerc's bad luck, securing Mercedes' second one-two finish of 2019.
However, Wolff believes Leclerc's dominant performance – in just his second race with Ferrari – proves he will be a threat to the Silver Arrows' grip on F1.
"In Leclerc I think we are seeing a young champion in the making who was the emotional winner," said Wolff.
"[He was] the fastest man in the fastest machine. He has gotten all the cruel side of motor racing, and it was our fortune.
"We have always expected him to be a threat. He's in a great car, and has the skills and the character to be very successful.
"It's a challenge that we really enjoy, and that I'm sure Valtteri and Lewis will enjoy. We want to fight against the best ones in the best machines."
Wolff added that Leclerc's reaction to his poor fortune was just as striking as his exploits on the track.
"He has a good personality, he is a humble young man, and he's very fast," the Austrian said.
"So the combination of the speed and the personality and being able to temper your emotions in both directions is a great ingredient.
"I know that many other drivers who have the lion in them, like he certainly has, would have reacted in a much more controversial way about the third place, they would have been angry and would have displayed that.
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