Jacques Villeneuve says Charles Leclerc is not criticised as much as his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel.
21-year-old Leclerc moved from Sauber to Ferrari for 2019 and so far he is being widely praised, despite his high profile qualifying crash in Baku.
"Imagine if Vettel had done that," 1997 world champion Villeneuve is quoted by Speed Week.
Increasingly, the perception is that Leclerc is getting the same sort of praise within Ferrari, even if Vettel remains the nominal 'number 1.
"If I have noticed something change, it's just that I know the people better," Leclerc said in Barcelona.
"I do not do anything different than before. As far as my public reputation is concerned, I am in the limelight more as a Ferrari driver but it may also be that I am very active on social media.
"But yes, I am reading a lot encouraging comments," he added.