Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Personal Information

Full Name
Charles Leclerc
Place of Birth
Monte Carlo
CountryMonaco Monaco

About Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc will compete with Scuderia Ferrari for the 2024 F1 season, still looking to win his first drivers' championship.

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Charles Leclerc will compete with Scuderia Ferrari for the 2024 F1 season, still looking to win his first drivers' championship.

Charles Leclerc F1 Career (2018 - Present)

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 - Ferrari
Charles Leclerc - Ferrari

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.

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 (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari
Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari

On the surface, 2021 wasn't Leclerc's finest year as he was out-scored by new teammate Sainz in the drivers' championship across 22 races.

Leclerc out-scored and out-qualified Sainz but a combination of bad luck and incidents meant he lost out come the end of the season. 

Leclerc is still one of F1's brightest talents but he will need to defeat his teammate in 2022 especially if Ferrari gives them a title-winning car.

In 2022, Leclerc finally added to his win tally, adding three further victories.

It should have been more as Ferrari failed to make the most of their superior package in the first part of the season. 

Charles Leclerc wins the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc wins the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Ferrari's poor strategy choices, combined with a handful of errors from Leclerc, meant Verstappen ran away with the title.

Leclerc ultimately finished the year as runner-up to Verstappen, albeit over 150 points behind.

2023 would represent something, which on paper at least, looked like a step backwards for Ferrari. 

No title challenge came from Leclerc this time against the dominant Red Bulls, but he added five more pole positions to his career tally. 

There were no victories either. Teammate Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to manage a victory in 2023, underlining Red Bull's superiority. 

But Ferrari ended the season strongly, narrowly missing out on second place in the constructors' to Mercedes, as Leclerc took fifth in the drivers' standings. 

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