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Sauber's Pujolar has no doubts about Leclerc's true potential

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Xevi Pujolar, Sauber's head of trackside engineering, says Charles Leclerc is definitely the real deal and an F1 world champion in the making.

For the second race in succession, the 20-year-old rookie scored a top-10 finish for the Swiss outfit following a solid drive in last Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The close working relationship between the driver and the engineer puts Pujolar in the perfect spot to assess the Monegasque's entry into F1. And the Spaniard just can't offer enough praise.

"He is a potential champion. Definitely," he told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper.

"The way he is very demanding with himself, I've seen in other drivers like him. He does everything to the maximum and until he does, he's not happy. And he wants the same from those around him.

"They're the kind of people who ultimately win because they're always looking for their limits," Pujolar added, who previously guided Max Verstappen's first steps in F1 with Toro Rosso.

"He has many things I have seen in other great drivers, but I prefer not to compare. What I can say is that if the car improves he would do great results."

┬ęSauber

Leclerc, who won the F2 championship last year, remains contracted to Ferrari as a Scuderia junior driver. And Pujolar is convinced that if he is provided a winning car, the young charger can deliver the goods.

"Okay, at some of the first races he made mistakes, but that's normal. You arrive from Formula 2 where you've won everything and find that everyone is a champion," he says.

"So at the beginning it's a shock. You think 'How is that driver as fast as me?' But once this type of driver knows how to regulate their potential, everything starts to happen.

"Sauber is the best place he could have started in F1," he added.

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