Ferrari driver coach Jock Clear expressed his amazement by the mentality of Charles Leclerc, stating that the Monagesque driver has always had a strong mental ability, which has led to his stellar performances with Ferrari.
Clear is a veteran in the field, having worked with former world champions in the past. He explained how Leclerc’s qualifying performances can be chalked up to his strong mental perseverance.
“Qualifying is qualifying, and the fact that he’s quick in qualifying I think is another manifestation of his mental strength. But [there have been] all sorts of behind the scenes conversations and stresses that he’s been under that I’m really really impressed at how little they impact him come Sunday afternoon,” Clear explained.
“It’s a bit like taking the penalty at the end of the Euros. That is pressure – you’ve got to deliver now. There’s no ‘that wasn’t great but the next one will be alright.'”
Clear also invoked comparisons to 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who drove alongside Leclerc for the Maranello outfit. Clear admitted that Leclerc carried himself well despite signing for Ferrari at a young age with little experience in F1.
“It’s easy to forget, simply because he is who he is and he has done what he’s done in the last two/three years. It’s easy to forget that coming into Ferrari as an official Ferrari driver at that age, that’s got to be intimidating, isn’t it,” Clear added.
“It’s intimidating for Sebastian Vettel when he comes here with four World Championships. That is intimidating stuff, and how he [Leclerc] has carried himself, pretty much from day one…
“If you say, ‘Okay, put it in a nutshell, these are the drivers I’ve worked with, put your finger on the one element of this driver that really shines through’ – mental strength certainly with Charles. Quite astoundingly strong mentally,” Clear concluded.