Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc
Country: 
Full Name: 
Charles Leclerc
Birth Date: 
16 October, 1997
Birth Place: 
Monte Carlo
Driver Status: 
Current
Driver Height: 
180cm
Driver Weight: 
65kg
59
Races
2
Wins
7
Poles
0
Titles

Charles Leclerc Biography

Charles Leclerc - Scuderia Ferrari F1 driver 

Charles Leclerc Career Summary and Fast Links

  • F1 Career Overview and Records
  • Ferrari 2021 F1 Team Launch
  • Pre-F1 Career
  • F1 Alfa Romeo (2018)
  • F1 Ferrari (2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Personal Life and Fast Facts

Charles Leclerc F1 Career Overview and Records

Charles Leclerc will compete with the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow F1 team in the 2021 F1 World Championship season, his third campaign with the iconic Italian team and his fourth in F1 total. 

To date [March 2021] Leclerc 59 F1 races (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari) and won two F1 races, seven pole positions and 16 podiums, all with Ferrari.

He is contracted with Ferrari to the end of the 2024 F1 season and was the youngest driver (21) in half a century to start an F1 race for the Scuderia. He is the third youngest winner in F1 total, scoring his maiden success in the Belgian Grand Prix, aged 21 years and 320 days, and the second youngest pole sitter behind Sebastian Vettel.

Interestingly, he has already amassed the tenth highest number of points in F1 without winning an F1 World Championship, though this stat is skewed by the larger number of points awarded per race in this era. He also has the sixth highest average points scored for races started (6.80 points average in 59 races started).

Charles Leclerc Net Worth: $12 million (source)

Charles Leclerc Driver Salary: $12 million (source)

* third-party source

Scuderia Ferrari 2021 F1 Team Launch

 

Charles Leclerc - Route to F1

Leclerc enjoyed a seamless rise to the pinnacle of the sport, needing only four seasons of single-seater competition - which included consecutive title wins in both the GP3 and F2 feeder series - to reach F1 aged only 20.

Growing up in the heart of Monaco - the jewel in F1’s crown - Leclerc began his karting career aged just 8-years old and quickly climbed the French national series to KF2. Clinching the WSK Euro Series title, he went on to finish runner-up in the CIK-FIA European KF2 Championship, which in turn landed him the CIK-FIA under-18 title.

The Monegasque made his single-seater debut in 2014 as part of the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series with British outfit Fortec, impressing en route to the runners-up spot in his rookie year behind third-year competitor Nyck de Vries and ahead of future F1 rival George Russell.

F3

That fine debut earned him a direct route into the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and he immediately made his mark in the Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara with a victory on his debut at Silverstone. Three more wins followed over a bulging 33-race campaign and though early-season momentum waned to leave him just outside of the title fight, fourth overall made him the highest-placed rookie in a season that saw his team-mates barely score any points.

GP3

Progressing to the GP3 Series after joining multiple champions ART Grand Prix, Leclerc grasped his opportunity to impress under the noses of the F1 bosses with two wins in the opening three races putting him into a championship lead he’d retain right to the season’s end, fending off a late charge by Alexander Albon. 

F2

With several teams taking notice of Leclerc, he joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016, thus poignantly emulating the late Jules Bianchi, whom he was close friends with at the time of his untimely death seven months following his horrific accident during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. Ferrari’s influence duly earned Leclerc his F1 debut at the wheel of the Haas VF-16 during Friday practice sessions, the youngster making four appearances for the American outfit. 

Teaming up with Prema Racing - dominant champions the previous year with Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi - for his maiden foray into F2 in 2017, Leclerc successfully defended the drivers’ title by a comfortable margin, winning seven races, including the Baku Feature Race a day after he learned his father had passed away after a long illness.

More Friday F1 Practice outings followed during four flyaway events, this time with the Sauber, which combined with its close association with Ferrari and its incoming partnership with brand stablemate Alfa Romeo set him up to join the Swiss-Italian outfit for his F1 debut in 2018.

Charles Leclerc F1 Career (2018 - Present)

Charles Leclerc 2018 F1 Results Overview
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Ferrari
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish6th (Azerbaijan GP)
-2018 F1 Points39 Points
-2018 F1 Championship Standing13th

Becoming the first Monegasque driver since Olivia Beretta to start an F1 race in 1994, Leclerc endured a rocky start to life at the height of the sport initially as he got to grips with more powerful machinery but a ballsy race day showing during Round 4 for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix earned him a surprise sixth place that kick-started a strong run of form which enabled him score in five of the next six races.

While many of his initial point-scoring finishes were achieved from lowly grid positions, a maiden Q3 showing in France was the first of several top ten starts to the end of the year. 

Though his Baku result remained his best of the year, Leclerc rounded his rookie season off well with point-scoring finishes in five of the latter seven races, leaving him 13th overall with 39 points - comparing favourably with his more experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson on nine points.

Charles Leclerc 2019 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow
-Races21
-Wins2
-Podiums10
-Pole Positions7
-Best Finish1st (Belgian GP, Italian GP)
-2019 F1 Points254 Points
-2019 F1 Championship Standing4th

As arguably the most promising startlet in several years to break through via the Ferrari Driver Academy, the storied team broke with tradition for 2019 by promoting Leclerc to the Scuderia for only his second season in F1.

The youngest driver in 50 years to steer a Ferrari in F1, despite the immense pressure of partnering Sebastian Vettel in a car that during pre-season testing appeared at least the match of the all-conquering Mercedes, Leclerc swiftly flourished beyond his relative inexperience and by rights deserved victory during Round 2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix after leading the majority of the way from his first pole position before technical issues late on demoted him to third.

Despite that early burst of performance, Leclerc had to wait until mid-season to assert himself as a convincing front-runner, which he achieved with a run of four podiums - including a second pole position in Austria - before he claimed an emotional maiden victory from the front of the grid at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix just a day after friend Anthoine Hubert had died following an accident during the supporting F2 race.

Just a week later Leclerc turned in another sensational second victory at Monza in his first Italian Grand Prix since joining Ferrari after prevailing in a fierce - and at times physical - battle with Lewis Hamilton. Sending the tifosi into raptures, Leclerc’s victory was Ferrari’s first on home soil since Fernando Alonso triumphed in 2010, in so doing assuring himself a place in the team’s ‘hall of fame’ in a way team-mate Vettel hadn’t yet achieved. 

Indeed, Leclerc’s ascending confidence came in tandem with a crisis in said confidence from Vettel, whose stalling form was underpinned by an error-strewn at Monza showing that ramped up the tension in the team as the hierarchy began to shift towards the young upstart.

Despite their best attempts to stifle the growing media speculation about a rift between the two, the pair came to blows in a messy Brazilian Grand Prix after Leclerc’s untidy pass into Turn 1 prompted Vettel to respond by squeezing him on the run to Turn 3, with the pair making contact that would put both out of the race. Despite the tension, Leclerc succeeded in out-scoring Vettel, thus securing his future in the team over his four-time title-winning counterpart.

Charles Leclerc 2020 F1 Results Overview
Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow
-Races17
-Wins0
-Podiums2
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish2nd (Austrian GP)
-2020 F1 Points98 Points
-2020 F1 Championship Standing8th

With Ferrari rubber-stamping a long-term four-year deal with Leclerc over the elongated break prior to the delayed 2020 F1 season kicking off in July, the youngster went on to endure ‘second-year blues’ as the team’s form waned during a troublesome season

Indeed, Leclerc’s efforts were largely considered to have been undermined by a curious development during the latter stages of the 2019 campaign, the legacy of which could be seen throughout 2020.

During the United States Grand Prix, Ferrari was hit hard by a ruling from the FIA that stated it had committed ‘fuel flow irregularities’. Though only officially linked to that particular session, it was widely interpreted to explain the SF90’s outstanding straight-line performance, particularly in qualifying, where the team had just completed a run of six consecutive pole positions before its form slumped during the final rounds.

Though controversial in that the FIA refused to disclose the exact details of the technical breach and didn’t dock any points - much to rivals’ chagrin - the effect continued to be seen on track in 2020 as Ferrari struggled for engine performance, which in turn betrayed evident chassis-related issues on the SF1000.

With both cars well off the pace, a shrewd Leclerc made the most of his talent during the ‘low hanging fruit’ of the initial rounds to score two podiums from four races, but thereafter looked at sea as Ferrari mired in the midfield and sunk to sixth overall for its worst season since 1980.

Despite this Leclerc was largely seen to be making the best of a bad situation, at least compared with Vettel, with eighth overall considered the most he could hope to achieve in a year the ‘Prancing Horse’ was left looking  lame. 

Charles Leclerc will race with Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow in the 2021 F1 World Championship

With Vettel out, Leclerc becomes official Ferrari F1 team leader for only his fourth season at the pinnacle of the sport, where he is joined by Carlos Sainz in the outfit’s youngest ever driver line-up.

However, with the team unable to make huge changes to its cars due to a technical freeze in the wake of the coronavirus and the forthcoming overhaul in regulations for 2021, it remains to be seen whether he will have the machinery capable of making the most of his evolving talents.

Charles Leclerc Fast Facts

  • Charles Leclerc was the godson and close friend of late Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi, who died in July 2015 as the result of serious head injuries sustained in an accident during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix

  • His younger brother Arthur Leclerc (20) is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and expected to follow his brother into the upper echelons of the sport after finishing runner-up in the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship. He will compete with dominant outfit Prema Racing in the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship.

  • Charles Leclerc is currently in a relationship with Charlotte Sine, the daughter of a Monaco entrepreneur (as of March 2021 - source)

  • He is only the fourth person from Monaco to start an F1 race (Louis Chiron, Andre Tesut, Olivier Beretta) and in 2018 became the first to do so since 1994