Opinion: Is Leclerc Actually Ready To Be An F1 World Champion? – WTF1

Opinion: Is Leclerc Actually Ready To Be An F1 World Champion?

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt said he believes Charles Leclerc is still “missing something” in his first F1 title battle. But while he wasn’t really clear on what that “something” is, we thought we’d give our thoughts on whether the Monegasque driver is ACTUALLY ready to become an F1 world champion…


Every championship is different and some are more difficult than others to win. I’d say Charles Leclerc is ready to win a world championship if he had the right machinery and a more competent team around him, the problem is just not against Max Verstappen in the form he’s in.

Even if Ferrari cut down the mistakes, Leclerc still makes too many of them himself and needs to be more ruthless and authoritative. He no doubt has the speed and I think he’d get a title if everything falls into place one year but if he wants to be able to beat the likes of a Verstappen or a Lewis Hamilton during a season he needs to still improve some areas of his game.


In short, yes, Leclerc absolutely is ready to win a world title… In long, and perhaps up against someone like Verstappen in equal-ish machinery, maybe not quite. Now, I’m going to try to take off my fanboy-tinted glasses for a second and give you my thoughts on this. There is no doubt that Leclerc is an incredibly talented driver, with blistering one-lap pace especially.

He is almost the complete package when it comes to being an F1 driver. However, there’s one main thing that I’ve seen, from the outside looking in, that needs to be tweaked – and that’s his ruthlessness. Leclerc is such a genuinely nice guy who probably is having the time of his life driving in a top car at the pinnacle of motorsport. However, if he wants to win world titles with Ferrari, he has to whip them into shape.

That’s the first and main thing I’d say he needs to improve on, learning when to say no to his team when they demand him to do something he doesn’t feel is right (he shouldn’t have to do this, but this year his team has let him down on multiple occasions).

At Spa he didn’t want to go for the fastest lap, at Silverstone he was told not to pit when the safety car came out, in Monaco he was pitted early and lost track position, and in Hungary he was made to pit onto the hard tyre and we all know how that ended. Sure, the benefit of hindsight is great and perhaps some of these examples couldn’t have been avoided with how badly Ferrari messed it up, but I really do feel as though Leclerc needs to develop that cutting edge as a driver that the majority of world champions have.

This will come though, whether that’s through more experience fighting at the top, or from having his heart broken by Ferrari too many times… Either way, he’ll be world champion one day (yes, my fanboy glasses are back on).


As WTF1’s lesser-known Leclerc fanboy, it hurts to say this. But Leclerc is NOT ready to win a world title – yet. There is no question he has the physical skills to become a world champion but, unfortunately, that’s a very small piece of the puzzle. While Ferrari’s meme-worthy strategy team hasn’t helped, Leclerc himself must shoulder a lot of the blame for how poorly his first title challenge has gone. In my opinion, he still lacks that killer instinct that transforms a driver from a race winner into a world-beater. Sure, this mentality can definitely be learned, but without it he’ll fall into the same tragic category as Daniel Ricciardo.

I’ve also got to add that Mattia Binotto’s management of Leclerc and Ferrari has been a joke this season. Instead of running his team with an iron fist and a clear direction, he’s turned Ferrari into a kids club where mistakes and errors go unpunished. No driver can become a world champion under these conditions.


There’s no denying that Leclerc is a mega talent. He’s quick and, on his day, is an absolute machine. However, he can be susceptible to the odd mistake based on how he likes to set up the car and how he pushes himself to the limit time and time again. He’s only human, after all. I used to think he’d ‘grow out’ of it, but I now think it’s just part of his DNA.

Although Ferrari haven’t exactly helped his championship hopes this year, I feel like we need Charles to channel his inner Michael Schumacher. Let’s see him publicly stand up to the Maranello squad when things don’t go his way or if he’s not comfortable with a strategy call.

Charles has the talent by the bucket load to be a champion, but when he’s got a rival like Verstappen and the current tight-knit Red Bull team to beat, changes need to be made to take the fight to them.

Do YOU think Leclerc is ready to become an F1 world champ? 

9 thoughts on “Opinion: Is Leclerc Actually Ready To Be An F1 World Champion?

  • I don’t think so, although it depends.. He clearly has the pure speed, but is not assertive enough during races with strategy-calls etc and still makes to many unforced errors when under pressure (Imola and France).. But his biggest problem I think is he lives in the same era as Max Verstappen.. He was always 2nd behind Max in karting, and that story continues now in F1.. He’s only gonna be able to beat Max when he has a clearly better car I think.. And right now Ferrari does not (only in qualifying).. So yeah, basically we all agree on the same things, WTF1 lol..

  • To be honest, I think this is a philosophical debate that doesn’t serve anything other than having some debate. Let’s be realistic here, the only thing that Leclerc is missing is points. Our ideas of what a world champion is / what it takes to be a world champion are only defined by who we’ve seen win a world championship and the next person that comes along to win a championship will then redefine that. If Max had come up a point short last year, people would be pontificating about how reckless he was last year and pointing to that as how he’s “not ready” or “doesn’t have what it takes yet” and of course that’s silly because you’re building a narrative that originates from a result. There’s so many different factors that go into winning a team sport and you can do everything correct and factors out of your control can let you down. You can also make a bunch of mistakes and the factors out of your control carry you over the finish line. So the reality of it is that all any driver is missing from becoming a world champion is points.

  • Media needs to stop blaming drivers for team mistakes. Yes Leclerc made mistakes but it’s Ferrari. How much is Leclerc over compensating for Ferrari’s poor management? How much is he having to overdrive due to Ferrari constantly making his life harder.

    The thing is that the comparison is Max+Redbull and Leclerc+Ferrari. But it’s turned into Max vs Leclerc. Seriously, do you really think Max would be the same at Ferrari?

  • Sure, this mentality can definitely be learned, but without it he’ll fall into the same tragic category as Daniel Ricciardo. This I am not sure about, otherwise we maybe would have seen some change this year. But mentality isn’t change in a year it takes a long period like in junior classes and so. Look at Lewis and Max they were raised to be mentaly capable to deal with championship pressure. Max by his dad and Lewis by people surrounding him and mistreated him. Yes Charles had a though youth but that was personal pain not professional. So I think Charles learns from this year try to adapt next year and after that year he will be ready but till then it’s at the moment Max or Lewis/George( depends if Merc let them fight on track).

  • ฬ๏ยtєг says:

    I agree with most that has been said, that he needs to learn to have that mentality of setting a team to his hand. A mentality that the likes of Verstappen, Hamilton, Vettel Alonso, Schumacher, Senna, Prost, etc. all had.

    He has the talent, but he needs to remove that mindset he still seems to have of that young driver who is just so greatful he got a chance with the big Ferrari. After he’s done that, he can finally put his foot down and demand of his team that, while no-one is bigger than Ferrari, Ferrari should never be too big to deal with criticism and mistakes.

  • vishnu sai kiran says:

    Absolutely!! He’s let down by the team otherwise he would still be leading this championship! Here in WTF1 calculated like a 125 points or so lost by Ferrari error which means we have a championship battle on hands! Yes he did the mistake in France that was due to the pressure the team put on him with their previous strategy errors where he pushed too much on worn out tyres! We Don’t even need to start about Hungary! A better team boss would have helped him atleast lead this championship right now! Even if Arrivabane was the principal we know Charles wouldn’t be let down, come on who in the right mind wouldn’t know Charles is their no.1 n they need to prioritise him n not Sainz, with all due respect Sainz is a good driver but never beter than Charles we can see the pace of each driver which Binotto is blind enough not to know;! Sorry about the frustrating rant, hey we are Ferrari fans waiting for the championship for more than a decade now!!!!

  • The consensus here seems to be that all Leclerc needs to do is learn to stand up to his team and stop them making mistakes to be world champion. That’s the very minimum Leclerc needs to do. If the Ferrari team cut out the tactical errors and reliability problems and got that car working so it could match the Red Bull in race pace, Leclerc still wouldn’t beat Verstappen in a close fight because Max has that whatever-it-takes-to-win attitude that all the greatest champions have had. The same would be true if he were in a straight fight with Lewis. Until Charles demonstrates that attitude he will always need to have the superior car to win a championship.

  • BeginnersGuidetoF1 says:

    Whilst Ferrari’s laughable strategies have certainly not helped Leclerc this year, I have to agree with what Matt has said; these terrible strategy calls also prove that Leclerc is lacking the ruthlessness that other drivers like Hamilton and Verstappen have when they call out their respective teams. Everyone loves a nice guy, but sometimes I catch myself screaming at my tv trying to somehow communicate to Leclerc that he should not follow Ferrari’s orders. I think he needs to get a lot more confident with the car, himself, and with his position in the team. Leclerc has also let the pressure get in his head since we’ve seen him push too hard and make a few mistakes throughout the season which just cannot happen when you’re going up against Verstappen who, in his current form, is practically faultless. There is no denying that Leclerc is a generational talent that has raw talent and pace, but he’s going to need more than that to win. Perhaps all the mistakes that Ferrari and Leclerc have made this year will help them learn for next time? Although knowing Ferrari, who knows if they will ever learn.

  • Leclerc is without doubt a worthy World Champion. The common failure of so many opinions when referring to mistakes is every world champion makes mistakes. The difference is they become world champion because they have one of the fastest cars with least team mistakes. Verstappen’s alleged great form is not great form he’s a top driver like Leclerc driving by far the fastest, easiest car to drive, and not having to push everything to the limit like Lecerc.
    If the table was turned, there is every likelihood Leclerc would be sailing away with the title and Max would be making mistakes like he has done every single season of his career

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