Toto Wolff says that he is "so happy" after his team locked out the front row for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, but he feels sorry for Charles...
Charles Leclerc is a Formula 1 driver for Scuderia Ferrari. At 21 years of age, Leclerc has a huge future in front of him. The driver from Monaco impressed during his rookie season in F1 with Alfa Romeo Sauber – scoring 39 points and managing a 13th place finish for the Swiss-Italian side. Such form earned him a dream move to Ferrari, with the youngster replacing the F1 veteran that is Kimi Raikkonen.
The late Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne had the wish that Leclerc would drive for the Italian side, but when Marchionne tragically passed away, the move became a bit more complicated. However, Leclerc got his dream move and will start driving for the 16-time world champions in the 2019 season, driving alongside Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc’s rise to the big time
Leclerc began his karting career back in 2005, with the driver from Monaco winning the French PACA Championship in the same year, and in 2006 and 2008. His last year karting was in 2013 where he finished runner-up to Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen in the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship.
A year later, Leclerc made the switch to Formula Renault 2.0, driving for British team Fortec Motorsports. He enjoyed an extremely successful first season in the category, claiming seven podium positions and a double victory at Monza. However, Nyck de Vries just pipped Leclerc to the title.
Formula 3 was the next destination for Leclerc with Dutch side Van Amersfoort Racing. Leclerc made his debut at Silverstone, and due to a disqualification for Felix Rosenqvist, the Monegasque driver claimed pole position and held on for his first race victory, with Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi finishing behind Leclerc in P2. It was then two in two for Leclerc, as he was victorious in Hockenheim.
It seemed as if there was nothing he couldn’t do – and an impressive debut season in F3 for Leclerc saw him finishing in fourth place – perhaps it would have been higher if he hadn’t had sustained damage to his chassis following a collision with Racing Point driver Lance Stroll in Holland.
Leclerc made the step-up to Formula 2 next, driving for Prema Racing alongside fellow Ferrari junior driver Antonio Fucco. The youngster then took pole position in his first race in Bahrain, but could only go onto finish third. There was slight disappointment for Leclerc, though, with the driver failing to score any points in his homeland of Monaco despite being on pole. He was in the lead and then a suspension issue forced the driver to retire.
But that didn’t stop Leclerc from going on to becoming the youngest ever champion of F2 at 19 years and 356 days old.
Formula 1 for Charles
In March 2016, Leclerc was confirmed to join the Ferrari Driver Academy and subsequently became a development driver for Haas F1 Team and Ferrari. Leclerc had his first taste in an F1 car at the British Grand Prix for Haas, driving in FP1. He then took part in the mid-season testing at the Hungaroring for Ferrari and managed to secure the quickest time after 98 laps.
With Leclerc impressing during his rare opportunities to showcase his talents, Sauber signed him for the 2018 season. This made Leclerc the first Monegasque driver in F1 since Olivier Beretta back in 1994. Leclerc would partner Marcus Ericsson at Sauber, and in his rookie season – the youngster would completely out-perform the Swedish driver. He secured multiple seventh-place finishes during his rookie season and finished in 13th in the drivers’ standings; ahead of the likes of Toro Rosso.
Ferrari: Dream come true
On September 11 2018, Ferrari confirmed the decision to replace Raikkonen with Leclerc for the 2019 season. It was inevitable for some time in regard to this switch. Ferrari team principal revealed that Leclerc’s contract at Maranello would be four-years long – “at least until 2022”.
Leclerc has since made his first test outing as a Ferrari driver, participating in the Abu Dhabi testing right at the end of the season. Leclerc dedicated his move to Ferrari to the late Jules Bianchi, his godfather, who many think would’ve driven for Ferrari if not for his untimely death.
Charles Leclerc News
Leclerc fuming after Q1 exit: "I need some explanations"
After a shocking Q1 exit, Ferrari star Charles Leclerc was left fuming at the team's decision not to come out for a second run, with the Monegasque...
Shock! Charles Leclerc eliminated in Q1 in Monaco!
Ferrari star Charles Leclerc has failed to make it to Q2 at his home Grand Prix of Monaco, with the 21-year-old being eliminated in Q1 as he...
Leclerc could receive grid penalty for Monaco GP
Charles Leclerc may have topped FP3, but he could find himself with a grid penalty for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix after an infringement under...
WATCH: Charles Leclerc Coming Home Monaco
Charles Leclerc returns his his hometown this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix, but with Ferrari this time out. He crashed into the barriers...
Mercedes “are out of reach for us” – Leclerc
Charles Leclerc has said that Mercedes are “out of reach” for Ferrari this weekend and that the focus now just needs to be on themselves.
Vettel: We tried some things, but they didn't really work
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has admitted the Maranello side tried some things, but also conceded "they didn't really work", as Mercedes dominated...
Leclerc: We need to make better use of tyres to catch Mercedes
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has conceded that Mercedes are "quite ahead" of the Italian side on Thursday, and believes making better use of...
Mark Webber tells Ferrari to focus on 2020 soon
Mark Webber believes Ferrari should switch focus to 2020 pretty soon. So far, Mercedes have been dominant and have only dropped three points...
Both Ferrari drivers receive fines for speeding!
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have both been fined by the FIA for speeding in the pit lane. In FP1, the two Ferrari drivers narrowly went...
Leclerc: “We will try to turn things around. It’s not going to be easy"
Charles Leclerc’s mixed season start continued in Spain as he finished fifth but the Monegasque is sitting on the fence ahead of his home Grand Prix of Monaco.
Leclerc: “We’ll try to turn things around”
Charles Leclerc is ready to “try to turn things around” this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix to get closer to Mercedes after being adrift in Spain.
Charles Leclerc says driving for Ferrari at Monaco is "a dream come true"
Charles Leclerc says that it is a "dream come true" to have the opportunity to race a Ferrari around his home Grand Prix. The Monegasque...
Charles Leclerc "mentally strong" after challenging few years
Charles Leclerc has not had an easy life but just by looking at him you wouldn't tell. The young Ferrari driver comes across as a genuine, kind...
Coulthard: Leclerc and Vettel have different pressures
David Coulthard has weighed in on the Ferrari number one debate and believes the two drivers are facing a different set of pressures which could...
"Charles Leclerc has it easier than Sebastian Vettel"
Charles Leclerc has it easier at Ferrari than his teammate Sebastian Vettel - at least, that's what former F1 driver David Coulthard thinks,...
Mattia Binotto claims Ferrari team are still in "the learning phase"
Mattia Binotto has blamed Ferrari's poor start to the 2019 Formula 1 season on the number of key personnel changes. He says the team are still...
Mattia Binotto says Ferrari's team orders are "for the teams interest"
Mattia Binotto has explained why his team uses team orders. The Italian has said that he believes that through the use of team orders Ferrari...
- Load more articles