Ex-Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug expects Charles Leclerc to up his recreation even additional after his Australian GP dominance.
Leclerc and Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen discover themselves battling on the entrance early in 2022, Leclerc already sitting fairly on the high of the Drivers’ Championship, although Verstappen would have occupied P2 proper now if tempo alone determined.
However as an alternative, he finds himself down in P6 after retiring whereas operating P2 at each the Bahrain and Australian GPs.
The Dutchman made his frustrations clear after that Australia DNF, saying Purple Bull can’t anticipate to problem for the title if they don’t make the RB18 dependable.
Already the deficits are regarding, with Verstappen 46 factors behind Leclerc within the Drivers’ standings and Purple Bull 49 factors adrift within the Constructors’.
Haug, talking within the AvD Motor & Sport journal on SPORT1, confused that this doesn’t imply that Purple Bull “can’t get their act collectively”, nevertheless, whereas there are nonetheless a possible 20 races to go, it’s “nonetheless a race towards time” for Purple Bull to get better that misplaced floor.
The Australian Grand Prix was notably regarding although for Purple Bull as not solely did reliability let Verstappen down once more, however the RB18 on that outing additionally couldn’t discover a solution to the tempo of the F1-75.
Leclerc took pole, the win, quickest lap of the race and led each lap, the grand slam in System 1.
“It appears like dominance,” Haug commented on Ferrari’s early showings, with Leclerc having gained two of the opening three races.
And after that show at Albert Park, Haug is backing Leclerc to realize much more confidence and take one other step ahead.
“That offers him fairly an enormous confidence, we are going to see one other step,” Haug predicted.
“He regarded extra superior than in every other race earlier than.”
Verstappen and Leclerc had been no strangers to one another on the karting scene, a time which didn’t go with out clashes, whereas even in System 1, the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix served to create a spark once more, Leclerc vowing to be extra aggressive as he moved on from that defeat.
However, with each drivers now discovering themselves in title competition, the potential is there for some fireworks.
That’s but to materialise although, with each drivers exhibiting sportsmanship on and off the observe, conserving their thrilling battles in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia clear, which was at instances not the case for Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in 2021 as they dueled over the title.
This, Haug believes, is a “generational change”.
“They know and respect one another,” he stated.
“If you hug one another, that’s sportsmanship. There’s a distinct velocity, even off the observe. It’s a generational change.”