Charles Leclerc dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix, before facing engine issues over the final stages of the race, allowing Mercedes to pass him and obtain the second one-two of the season.
Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolf reckoned that Leclerc has demonstrated to have all the personality traits and talent to become a Formula 1 world champions in the future.
"In Leclerc I think we are seeing a young champion in the making who was the emotional winner," said Wolff.
“He was the fastest man in the fastest machine. He has gotten all the cruel side of motor racing, and it was our fortune.
"We have always expected him to be a threat. He's in a great car, and has the skills and the character to be very successful.
In particular, Wolf pointed out how the humility and calmness shown by Leclerc, despite the disappointing third place, are clear signs of a strong character for a successful career in Formula 1.
"Very, Very impressive," remarked Wolff. "He has a good personality, he is a humble young man, and he's very fast.
"So the combination of the speed and the personality and being able to temper your emotions in both directions is a great ingredient.
"I know that many other drivers who have the lion in them, like he certainly has, would have reacted in a much more controversial way about the third place, they would have been angry and would have displayed that.
"None of that we see with Charles."
The Mercedes boss continued underlining how excited he is to encounter a new strong competitor as Leclerc.
"It's a challenge that we really enjoy, and that I'm sure Valtteri and Lewis will enjoy.
"We want to fight against the best ones in the best machines.
"When you see Lewis fighting Sebastian today, in a car and engine that wasn't on Sebastian's level, I think that motivates them even more."
Toto Wolff concluded that Ferrari has the responsibility to balance the interests of both its drivers, referring to the team-radio where Leclerc was claiming to be faster than his team-pair Vettel.
"I don't know if I see all the calls, but there was one call that was, 'Stay behind for the next two laps'," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing how pans out. I was there many years ago!"