With just three rounds of the 21-race season gone, Leclerc has been issued team orders at each event to the benefit of his four-time world champion teammate, Sebastian Vettel.
During the Chinese Grand Prix, Leclerc was again asked to move aside for his teammate, an action that ultimately cost him valuable championship points, ending the race in fifth.
While Vettel is perceived to be Ferrari's best chance of winning the world championship, it would not be difficult to argue that without those team orders it would be Leclerc leading his vastly more experienced teammate in the driver's championship standings.
Rosberg, who is no stranger to inter-team battles from his time as Lewis Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes, believes that the Monegasque driver deserved more time at the team before they marked him as the number two driver.
"That [the early order in China] was harsh," Rosberg explained on his YouTube channel.
"I guess he has to live with it at the moment. They have told him for now he will be a little bit of a number two at times.
"But I thought it was pretty harsh. At least give him a bit more time to show him he could go faster. But they were like go faster or you've got to let him by, and gave him not even one lap, I think. Then 'let him by'.
"Fair enough, but afterwards Vettel couldn't go much faster. He was one or two tenths quicker. That wasn't enough.
"It completely messed up Leclerc's race because of strategy he lost out to [Max] Verstappen as well. That's not great, how they managed that."