Incredible Charles Leclerc has beautiful future ahead - Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton labelled Charles Leclerc’s performance as “incredible” in the wake of the Ferrari youngster’s display during Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Leclerc claimed his maiden pole position on Saturday and, having slipped to third at the start, battled his way back into the lead after just six laps, sweeping past Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc held a comfortably advantage after the final round of pit stops but a suspected cylinder failure robbed Leclerc of vital straight-line speed with 13 laps remaining.
That left Leclerc lapping several seconds off the pace and he was powerless to prevent both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from moving past.
“He did an incredible job this weekend and he’s got a beautiful, bright future ahead of him, so this will only make him stronger,” said Hamilton.
“I went past Charles down the back straight and I raised my hand to him because there’s nothing I could do, obviously I didn’t have any problems, so it definitely feels weird and, honestly, you can’t believe your luck in those scenarios, but what can you do?
“You can’t deny yourself it. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing and pushing ahead.
“I’ve been in positions like that: we’ve been in the lead many a time when the car has stopped and I know how it feels.
“But it’s always good to look at the glass half full because today he still got some great points even though he had that problem and he was an outlier all weekend – even to his team-mate, he was so much faster than his team-mate all weekend.
“He has so many positives to take from it and we have a lot of work to do to try and keep up with him!”
Runner-up Bottas added: “Obviously it’s hard luck for Charles, he was very strong – but you know, it will come for him.
“I had to wait for more than 80 races for my first win, so I’m sure it’s going to be OK.”