Now I know that this thread might be deeemed as reactionary and maybe useless to discuss, but I wanted to know your guys opinion on it, and do we share the same thinking or not. After 2020, when Charles quite soundly beat Sebastian, I really thought he was on Verstappen/Hamilton level. Almost every fiber of my body believed he would destroy Sainz this year (both in qualy and races), but after seeing Carlos beating Charles in Q2 in Bahrain I immedatiely started doubting myself. I was like, "how is Carlos already so close to Charles"?
Now I know that maybe Carlos is an adaptable driver and very consistent and quick on his day, but looking at the season in whole, he has been very close(too close for my liking) to Charles almost every race(bar Spain,Silverstone,Zandvoort and USA to a certain degree) this season and quite some times he looked even quicker than him(Qatar,France,both Austrias,Mexico, even Portugal if not for the messed up strategy). This has put lot of doubts in my head that Charles is maybe not that guy that will win titles in Ferrari(unless if he has a quicker car) and that he isn't that special as maybe what people think he is(again Max/Lewis level) because it's very weird that a driver like Carlos(quick yes but not an F1 elite) is that close to him and at times beating him already in his first season at Scuderia.
Lets look at stats this year:
Charles had out-qualified Carlos 13-7 and out-raced him 13-6. I know it heavily still looks in Charles's favour but Carlos has been there or thereabouts in qualy and races(lurking few tenths back in qualy and couple of seconds behind, bar the races I named above as Charles's standout performances this year).
I know if you don't count Monaco and Hungary, Charles would be few points down the road but you can argue Monaco was his fault(despite team not looking at the driveshaft), it was still him that binned it. Now this post is not a way to throw rocks at Charles, cause he is an exciting talent, he showed that already in 2019, having most poles and outpacing Seb early on , but I just think this season has slightly "devalued" his level in F1 at the moment.
So I made this thread so I can hear out your guys opinion, especially fellow Ferrari fans who are hopeful we can come back next year with a championship winning car, do you have full trust in Leclerc next year that he can go toe to toe with Max/Lewis and he has all what it takes to fight and win the first title in Ferrari in 15 years in equal or close cars compared to his main rivals? And what are your thoughts on him so far, and has this season(Sainz being extremely close to him, remember he got beaten by Hulkenberg in the Renault..) slightly changed your perception about Charles, or you still have 100% believe he is up there with the very best and has got what it takes.
Edited by MaroF1, 01 December 2021 - 13:59.