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Same Name, Different Story: Comparing Charles and Arthur Leclerc’s Career Paths

Written by Jiya Mahapatra, Edited by Meghana Sree

It’s quite rare to see two members of the same family gaining a lot of success in motorsports at the same time. We’ve had the legendary brothers Michael and Ralf Schumacher, as well as the father and son duo of Keke and Nico Rosberg. Now, we are witnessing it happening again with Scuderia Ferrari Formula One driver Charles Leclerc and his younger brother Arthur Leclerc, who’s currently in his rookie season in Formula 2. The two brothers grew up in Monaco, and spent a lot of time karting together as children. That being said, while they may have been raised together, their careers have definitely taken different routes.

Image Credits - Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Charles Leclerc began go-karting at the ripe age of seven, and quickly became quite a successful junior, winning titles such as the French Cadet Championship and the Junior Monaco Kart Cup. He began racing professionally in 2014, driving for Fortec Motorsport in the Formula Renault Championship.

He finally got into F3 for the 2015 season, at the age of 17, driving for Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing. He gained a lot of traction from the get-go, winning his first F3 victory in only the third race weekend. After finishing fourth in the championship, he signed a contract with Prema Racing for the 2017 F2 season, and he went on to become one of the few people to win the F2 championship in their rookie season.

The elder Leclerc eventually started his F1 career with Sauber, but made his biggest career move at the end of 2018, when he signed a contract with Scuderia Ferrari. He’s been with the Italian team since, determined to win a championship with them after making this a promise to his father.

Image Credits - Emmanuele Ciancaglini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In contrast to this, his younger brother, Arthur Leclerc, only began his professional racing career at the relatively late age of 17. According to an interview with Charles Leclerc: “My dad had to make a choice. Having a career in motorsport was very expensive. So I continued to kart, but Arthur had to stop unfortunately.” The Leclerc family only had enough funds to see one of their children through to the finish line, causing the younger brother to put his ambitions on hold.

Despite this, once Arthur Leclerc finally started in French F4, he performed impressively right away, claiming his first single seater victory in just his second race. He also had a brief involvement in Formula E, after being signed as a development driver for Venturi Racing in 2017.

While it didn’t lead to much, he was given access to simulators and training equipment, which helped him to make progress in his skills. In 2020, he joined Prema Powerteam in their quest to the Formula Regional European Championship, which was also the year that he joined the Ferrari Driver Academy.

It was evident that his brother’s team could see a lot of potential in him. He went on to drive for Prema’s F3 team, alongside Olli Caldwell and Denis Hauger, and was there until the end of the 2022 season. After this, DAMS announced a contract with Arthur Leclerc for him to begin racing in F2. While he has had a bit of a rough rookie season, it’s still exciting to see this talented young man driving in a higher series.

Image Credits: Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Overall, the main difference between the Leclerc brothers’ pathways has mostly had to do with timing. Unluckily, the younger Leclerc started pursuing a professional motorsports career at a later age. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that he’s ‘not as skilled’ as his elder brother; as they’re both extremely talented drivers, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for each of them.

Are we eventually going to see the Leclerc brothers racing against (or perhaps even alongside) one another in F1? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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