Charles Leclerc

  • Monegasque prodigy


After a lightening rise, the racing driver has moved to Scuderia Ferrari for his second Formula One season.
On 23 to 26 May he'll be fighting for a podium place on home turf at the 77th Monaco Grand Prix.

All motorsports' eyes are on the driver they're calling the new rival for Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. His secret weapons? Ambition and determination. At just 21, Charles Leclerc is competing in his second F1 championship, and has already proved he isn't there to make up the numbers. In the qualifiers for the Bahrain Grand Prix, the second of the season, he achieved his first pole position, making him the first Monegasque to lead an F1 grid, the youngest ever Ferrari pole man and the second youngest (after Vettel) in F1 history. Although an engine problem led to him finishing only third, he amply demonstrated his skill and wrote his name indelibly into motor racing history. “Charles really deserved to win,” said Lewis Hamilton admiringly of his young competitor.
“He has a brilliant future ahead (...). We'll have our work cut out keeping up with him!” the five-times world champion went so far as to admit.

In the family
A love of the asphalt runs in Leclerc's veins. His father, ex-Formula 3 driver Hervé Leclerc, introduced him to motorsports at the tender age of four and the youngster started out karting on the Brignoles track belonging to Philippe Bianchi, father of the much-regretted Jules Bianchi who was Leclerc's mentor. An exemplary career led last year to the Monaco-born driver competing in his first F1 championship with Alfa Romeo Sauber, giving a brilliant performance that saw him total 39 points and win promotion. “Now I'm driving for Ferrari there are two Grand Prix I'd love to win, ideally Monaco, my home race, and Monza – I can't wait to find out what it's like to race in Italy for Ferrari!” Leclerc admits. Monaco will deliver its verdict on Sunday 26 May at the outcome of the 78-lap race. “I don't feel the pressure on me and I don't want to feel it. I just think of the work I have to do behind the wheel and in training. I'm as prepared as I'll ever be and I hope that will pay off.” Leclerc has all it takes to succeed, and a whole country backing him.

Par Caroline Stefani