Charles Leclerc says the road ahead of him to the F1 title is "long".
In Bahrain, only a car problem prevented the young Monegasque from winning his first grand prix.
"It's very nice to hear that coming from a five time world champion," Leclerc, 21, told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
"Many other people already see me there too, but I think the road is long," he added.
"What is certain is that I will do everything to get there. I want to be the best in my sport, but at the same time I realise how difficult it is.
"Since I was a child, doing karting competitively, I have wanted to win. So yes, to be world champion is a goal that I want to achieve," said Leclerc.