Leclerc has been undaunted after being promoted from Sauber to replace Kimi Raikkonen for 2019, delivering a string of impressive drives in just his second F1 season.
The 21-year-old is yet to win, but has taken pole positions in Bahrain and Austria to prove his credentials, losing out to a mechanical failure and charging Max Verstappen respectively.
Having emerged through Ferrari’s driver academy, Piero Ferrari says Leclerc is reminiscent of Lauda as he will hopefully become a star with the Scuderia.
“Do you know who he reminded me of in Spielberg? A young Niki Lauda,” Ferrari told Il Resto del Carlino newspaper.
“[Alain] Prost, Schumi [Michael Schumacher], [Fernando] Alonso and [Sebastian] Vettel arrived in Maranello already as world champions, but Leclerc is following the path of Niki. He is already a guarantee for Ferrari.
“I hope he wins soon, as Formula 1 needs good stories and equal treatment. For everyone’s sake.”
Ferrari have slipped from pre-season favourites to a distant second-best to Mercedes in 2019, with Red Bull’s win in Spielberg perhaps bumping them further down the pecking order.
However, Ferrari sees reason for positivity.
“In the last month, with Vettel and Leclerc, we won two poles and fought for victory on both occasions to the chequered flag,” he said.
“Even with the external controversy, the team is reacting to difficulties. That’s a good thing.”