Sebastian Vettel Claims Leclerc is “Superior to Verstappen” Following Impressive Outing in Turkey

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Scuderia Ferrari had their best race of the season in Turkey. Both drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, made it into the top 4 with the former notching up his first podium of the season.

While 202o has been a nightmare for Vettel, teammate Leclerc’s performances have been on the other end of the spectrum.

The German had already mentioned once before that Leclerc is driving in a different league. And following the race in Turkey, Vettel was all praise for the Monegasque despite his risky move on Sergio Perez during the second last turn caused him to lose P3. Vettel even made a claim that could tick off some Dutch fans.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel during a press conference at Imola
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Vettel said (translated by Google), “Leclerc is a star. I think he is an incredible talent, even superior to Verstappen. In ten years it won’t make a difference if he hasn’t hit this podium.”

Leclerc can certainly be proud of his performance considering he started the race in P12 and the conditions were incredibly difficult to negotiate. He was one of the few drivers who didn’t make any mistakes during the race.

Sebastian Vettel reflects on the race at Istanbul Park

A total of 27 points in Turkey was a welcome relief to the Scuderia and even more so for Vettel. The German has had a terrible season so far, but on a wet track, the 4-times world champions’ skill and talent came to the fore as he ended the race in P3 having started from P11.

Sebastian Vettel holds his trophy aloft after securing P3 in Turkey
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium with a trophy after finishing third in the race Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason

Until the very last lap, it seemed like a podium finish had slipped out of his hands. But a lockup from teammate Leclerc, who tried to pass Sergio Perez to get into Q2, during the second last turn, gave Vettel the window to get back onto the podium for the first time since Mexico 2019.

After the race, Vettel said, “It was a very long and intense race. I did an excellent first lap: I felt good on the full wets, less with the intermediates.

“The last lap was also nice, with the podium conquered at the end: Leclerc was close to Perez, in the previous lap I was recovering a lot on them and as soon as I saw Charles blocking I saw that there was an opportunity for me and I took advantage of it.

“At one point I also thought about slicks, there would have been a chance to win, but in the end I am happy with this podium.”

This result will surely give the German a much-needed boost in morale and self-confidence, heading into the final three races of the season.

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