Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn says Charles Leclerc is demonstrating characteristics during the 2020 season that remind him of both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc turned in his latest superb performance at the Portuguese Grand Prix, converting a brilliant fourth place in qualifying into his best result since the 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone back in August.

Despite Ferrari’s struggles, Leclerc’s consistent heroic displays have been a rare shining light on an otherwise woeful campaign. 

Seven top eight finishes - including two podiums - from the opening 12 races have seen Leclerc rise up to fifth place in the championship, with the Monegasque just five points behind Daniel Ricciardo in fourth.

In contrast, Sebastian Vettel has struggled to match Leclerc’s level of performances, with the outgoing four-time world champion sitting a low-key 13th in the standings on just 18 points.

Brawn believes Leclerc’s form will be provide Ferrari with great motivation heading into 2021 and beyond, as well as showing star qualities that will ultimately serve him well on his quest to become world champion.

“It was another very strong performance from Charles and he continues to give Ferrari motivation for next year after what has been a very challenging campaign so far,” Brawn wrote in his latest post-race column for the official F1 website.

“The team will know that when they are able to give him a more competitive car, he will deliver the results.

“A driver can go two ways when faced with a difficult car. It can demotivate them, their performances start to drop away and it helps no one. It’s a double whammy.

“Or a driver can do what Charles has done and dig even deeper and find extra performance that helps subsidise the team when things aren’t so great. Through that process, when he does get car underneath him, he will be a stronger driver.

“I often felt with Michael, there were races he won which he should not have won because the car wasn’t good enough but he managed to find a way to win. And that is what makes a world champion.

“Lewis has demonstrated that. He’s got a great car now, but I recall him winning races when the car was not a top performer. And Charles is doing similar at Ferrari right now.”

Brawn was also full of praise for Hamilton, who dominated F1’s first-ever race at Portimao to claim a record-breaking 92nd career win, putting him one clear of Schumacher’s previous benchmark.

“This was another exemplary performance from Lewis,” Brawn added. “No one can come near him at the moment. There was excitement at the beginning of the race, and he lost ground, but he handled the disappointment with his customary style and found a way to fight back and secure victory.

“His ability to departmentalise his life and his challenge is something I noticed early on when I worked with him at Mercedes. He had a number of things that he was pursing as well as F1, but he seemed to have impressive ability to put it all to one side when he got in a racing car and produce these exceptional performances. For someone who has an involved lifestyle, it’s truly impressive.

“He does not have many weaknesses and rarely makes mistakes. His consistency is extraordinary and has been the backbone of his success in F1. He’s flying at the moment and shows no signs of slowing down.

"Ninety two wins is an incredible achievement. Who knows where this is going to stop.”