Written by Fatima Ahmed, Edited by Leah Brown
Since Charles Leclerc’s Formula One debut in 2018, he was already tipped as a future world champion in the sport. Even more so when, before the season was even finished, he signed with Ferrari for the following year - replacing Ferrari veteran Kimi Räikkönen. Since then Leclerc has taken four victories from pole position, plus another 13 podium appearances. However, despite Leclerc’s maturity and occasional calm head, he has found himself committing costly and unnecessary mistakes throughout his time in the sport.
Ferrari is a Formula One team laced with history, its name known worldwide and the colour red identifiably linked to the Italian-based brand. Leclerc, like many other children, dreamt of driving for Ferrari as a child. However, chasing the dream isn’t smooth sailing. In 2015, he lost his godfather and childhood friend Jules Bianchi, a Formula One driver for Marussia. Bianchi, like Leclerc, was part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and was expected to join the team soon.
In 2017, Leclerc lost his father Hervé Leclerc, who raced Formula 3 in the 1980s and 1990s. The younger Leclerc admitted in an interview that he lied to his father about having secured a seat with Ferrari for the 2018 season. When Leclerc eventually did sign with the team, he thought back and realized he “didn’t lie that day.”
Leclerc’s story could act as the justification behind these seemingly unnecessary mistakes as well as his harsh self-criticism. Driving for a team such as Ferrari on the biggest platform for motorsport is pressure enough. Factor in the losses Leclerc has suffered at a young age and you can see how you get someone who is constantly striving for perfection and who wants to make both his father and godfather proud, as well as continuing their legacies.