Jean Todt believes that Charles Leclerc is already a great champion and he hopes that the Monegasque will soon find that little something he is missing to win a title, but concludes that Ferrari and their driver are missing a vital ingredient in order to become champions in Formula 1.
Jean Todt, former FIA president, was at the helm of the Ferrari team when they won six consecutive constructors’ titles from 1999 to 2004. His son, Nicolas Todt, is the manager of Charles Leclerc. Speaking to the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport, Jean Todt said:
“Charles is already a great champion. He still lacks something, I hope he will have it soon.”
The Frenchman however did not go any further when asked if it was the car that was lacking, he simply repeated: “He is missing something…”.
At the beginning of the season, Charles Leclerc seemed to have all the cards in his hand to fight for the championship, winning two of the first three races. But then he saw his chances collapse race after race, making mistakes himself at Imola and in France. He suffered from reliability problems in Spain and Azerbaijan and poor team strategy in Monaco, Britain and Hungary.
For some time now it has been a drop in performance that has concerned Ferrari compared to Red Bull, Max Verstappen has won five consecutive races and now holds a 116-point lead over the Monegasque driver in the drivers’ standings.
“At one point Ferrari had the best car in the championship. Then they lost some opportunities, I think of strategy, a safety car that came in at the wrong time, I think of reliability problems,
“Several episodes that had a cost. We have to think about it to avoid that happening again. Never leave anything to chance. And if they succeed, then they will have all the ingredients to be champions” explained Jean Todt.
MORE F1: Ricciardo year off is ‘nonsense’ given Haas F1 latest offer
“Every era is different, I don’t want to give advice. It’s easy to give advice. The only thing I can say [to Mattia Binotto] is to resist.”
“And then now Ferrari is doing very well. It seems to me that people are not fully aware of that. Ferrari is back to win. I think everybody… well, almost everybody, we would like to see Ferrari winning championships, not just a few races.”
“We can hope for that for next year, because this year I don’t think it’s possible anymore. But to win, you need excellence at all levels. That’s hard to achieve, and even harder to maintain.”
“It starts with excellence in the detail. From whoever answers the phone in the company. If a company doesn’t answer the phone after ten rings, it’s not a good company. You can’t make two of the same mistakes, if it happens then there is something to change,” concluded the former FIA president.
MORE F1 NEWS: FIA to extend FP2 by 30 minutes
One of those (few) lucky scapes in a Pit Lane🙏 https://t.co/LAC7MvlgyQ
— Pedro de la Rosa (@PedrodelaRosa1) September 26, 2022