Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc’s relationship with Sebastian Vettel has had its share of ups and downs.
The pair famously worked together at Ferrari and their interactions began even before Leclerc was promoted to F1.
Leclerc made it into F1 in 2018, when he was picked by Alfa Romeo as one of its drivers, given that he had Ferrari support owing to being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
The Italian giants were always confident in Leclerc’s ability and he took an active role in completing simulator work.
The Monegasque even tested for Ferrari while he was still competing in F2.
Vettel, meanwhile, was a full-time driver for Ferrari at this point.
Leclerc felt all the work he had been doing on the simulator may have gone unnoticed by the German, but was pleasantly surprised when he received a letter from Seb.
How Vettel touched Leclerc’s heart
Leclerc was humbled to read that Vettel had not only noticed the hours he was putting in, but was also appreciative of his efforts.
”He’s been incredible,” Leclerc said prior to Vettel’s last race.
“I remember, already in Formula 2, I was doing the simulator work, which, okay, it’s not easy work to do.
“It’s really, really tiring and I thought that Seb probably didn’t even know I was on the simulator.
“And I received a letter one day, just thanking me for all the hard work. And that meant a lot for me at that time.”
When the duo started racing alongside each other, it was very much a case of Vettel passing on the baton to Leclerc, with the 25-year-old proving dominant behind the wheel.
Seb, meanwhile, seemed like he was running out of gas.
Given how four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel expected more from himself, there were some heated moments between the two as well.
The biggest of those perhaps came at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, when they collided with each other.
“We became team-mates in 2019 and 2020 also, where he has taught me really a lot,” Leclerc said.
“We’ve had our tense moments on track, but the respect off the track has never changed and he’s always been there for me whenever I had difficult times.
“And that was very different to what I was used to with my previous team-mates. Obviously, in Formula 1 it’s normal, there’s inner competition inside the team but he has always been super caring and trying to help me whenever I was going through more difficult times.
“But yeah, he will definitely be missed. I’m sure that he will enjoy his time off the racetrack, and that he will find other things that makes him happy.”
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