Charles Leclerc (sharl LE-clerk; born 16 October 1997, Monte Carlo, Monaco) is a Monégasque professional racing driver, currently driving in the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship for Ferrari, after competing for Sauber in 2018. A Ferrari Driver Academy member and reigning FIA Formula 2 Champion, Leclerc is one of the highest rated young drivers of the current era, who has previously tested for the Scuderia, Haas and 2018 employers Sauber.
Background[edit | edit source]
Leclerc began karting at the age of eight, taking six junior category titles in five seasons in France and Monaco. Leclerc would go one to finish as runner up to Max Verstappen in the CIK-FIA World KZ Championship in 2013, his final year in go-karts. The Monégasque racer would also make a notable friendship with Jules Bianchi during his karting career.
The Single-Seater Sprinter[edit | edit source]
Leclerc would graduate to racing cars in 2014, entering the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps, ending the season as the Junior Champion and runner-up overall. His efforts landed him a spot in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for 2015, taking three wins to finish fourth overall, behind Champion Lance Stroll. The Monégasque was then moved into the GP3 Series for 2016, taking his first major title in a racing car at the end of the season with three victories.
Leclerc's rapid ascent up the motorsport ladder continued into 2017, with the Monégasque racer joining fellow Ferrari Academy ace Antonio Fuoco in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. It would be a masterful display from the youngster throughout the season, as Leclerc dominated qualifying throughout the first half of the season, taking five wins before the summer break. A further two wins saw him end the season as Champion in his debut season in the series, putting him in prime position for a seat in Formula One.
Leclerc's performance in 2017 was made all the more remarkable given the death of his father Hervé, whom had guided his career through until his Formula 3 debut.
Formula One Career[edit | edit source]
Leclerc's first involvement with Formula One came in 2016, when the Monégasque racer was inducted into the Ferrari Driver Academy. He would make his F1 testing debut with Ferrari customer team Haas F1, taking part in FP1 at the 2016 British Grand Prix, with further FP1 sessions given to him later in the season. Rumours soon abounded that Leclerc would join Haas in 2017, although the American outfit declared that the Monegasque racer would have to compete in Formula 2.
Sauber Star?[edit | edit source]
Leclerc would indeed compete in F2 for 2017, although that would come alongside testing duties for Sauber. A single run-out in the full Ferrari car came at the 2017 Budapest Test, although Leclerc only completed one day of running. However, that would prove to be enough for Sauber to sign the Monegasque racer for 2018, as they strengthened ties with engine suppliers Ferrari.
Alfa Romeo rookie[edit | edit source]
Scuderia Ferrari pole position victor[edit | edit source]
Heading to 2019, Charles Leclerc would be driving the Scuderia Ferrari in place of Kimi. Leclerc's contract will be longer for at least four years.
In the Australian Grand Prix, Leclerc takes his first top five finish, having to both start and finish fifth. He also scored fastest laps during 2 of 3 practice sessions.
In the Bahrain Grand Prix, Leclerc was able to score a pole position during the qualifying session. He led majority laps, but was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. It was due to the fact that his engine dropped a cylinder with a failed fuel injector. Leclerc finished 3rd after Nico Hulkenburg and Daniel Ricciardo retired on lap 54. He stopped Max Verstappen from overtaking.
In the Chinese Grand Prix, Leclerc was to qualify 4th after his teammate Sebastian Vettel was ahead of him. He got the same result as Australia, which is 5th.
In the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Leclerc started 8th after penalties were given for Kimi and Antonio Giovinazzi. He was given an extra point for the fastest lap of the race. He quoted his qualifying crash "stupid".
Unfortunately, Leclerc retired at the Monaco Grand Prix, which is his hometown Grand Prix. This was his second time retiring in his own nation's Grand Prix. Leclerc was not able to set Bianchi's record once again.
At Canada Grand Prix, Leclerc started and finished 3rd at the same time.
At French Grand Prix, which is Bianchi's hometown, Leclerc finished 3rd once again despite of the controversial 1-2 finish of Hamilton and Vettel.
Austrian Grand Prix saw Leclerc's second pole position. However, he finished 2nd due to the collision with Verstappen.
In the British Grand Prix, Leclerc started and finished 3rd ahead of Verstappen and was voted for Driver of the Day.
However, in the German Grand Prix, Leclerc qualified 10th, but he did not finished the race, which resulted in his second DNF result.
In the Hungarian Grand Prix, Leclerc suffered a rear-end crash during qualifying, but still finished 4th.
The Belgian Grand Prix saw Leclerc's 3rd pole position. In lap 19 of the race, he was given a standing ovation after the death of Anthoine Hubert, who crashed during the second lap of the FIA Formula 2 Belgian Grand Prix. He claimed his first FIA trophy after he finished first.
At Italian Grand Prix, Leclerc scored his fourth pole position (second consecutive) and finished first once again.
Leclerc got another pole position (third consecutive), but finished second in Singapore Grand Prix.
One race later, Leclerc earned fourth consecutive pole position, but finished third afterwards.
In Japanese Grand Prix, Leclerc issued a 5-second time penalty for the Max Verstappen collision, which later resulted Verstappen's DNF. He also issued a 10-second post-race penalty for not going to box after issue. He was supposed to finish P6, but due to penalties he finished P7. Later, it was reported that there's a disqualification on Daniel Ricciardo, Leclerc kept his P7 result.
Leclerc ended up finishing 4th in both Mexican and United States Grand Prixes. He also scored additional points for the fastest lap.
In Brazilian Grand Prix, Leclerc qualified 4th, but was put in the seventh row due to a 10-place grid penalty for using a new machine during the United States Grand Prix. However, he and Vettel crashed out which resulted their retirements (Verstappen won that race).
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw Leclerc's seventh pole position. He was overtaken by Hamilton and Bottas (and also Verstappen). He still finished 3rd in the race, but finished 4th in the standings.
After the race, Ferrari was fined 50,000 euros for more fuel in the car. Neither Vettel or Leclerc were to blame about the situation.
Formula One Statistical Overview[edit | edit source]
Formula One Record[edit | edit source]
|2016–2018||Ferrari Driver Academy|
|2016||Haas F1 Team||Haas-Ferrari||Test Driver|
|2017||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||Test Driver|
|Sauber F1 Team||Sauber-Ferrari|
|2018||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||Sauber-Ferrari||39||13th||Report|
|2019||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||Ferrari||264||4th||Report|
|2020||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||Ferrari||98||8th||Report|
|2021||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||Ferrari||Report|
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Correct as of the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying
|Front Row Starts||8|
|Distance Raced||15271 km (9489 mi)|
|Distance Led||1322 km (821 mi)|
Race Wins[edit | edit source]
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||2019 Belgian Grand Prix|
|2||2019 Italian Grand Prix|
Career Results[edit | edit source]
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
See Also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Images and Videos:
- 'Leclerc to use number 16 in Formula 1', gpupdate.net, (SportUpdate B.V., 05/12/2017), https://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/361624/leclerc-to-use-number-16-in-formula-1/, (Accessed 05/12/2017)
- 'Sauber confirm Leclerc & Ericsson, as Alfa Romeo livery revealed', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 02/12/2017), https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2017/12/sauber-confirm-leclerc---ericsson--as-alfa-romeo-livery-revealed.html, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- 'LECLERC TAKES ROOKIE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE', fotecmotorsports.com, (Fortec Motorsport, 08/10/2014), http://fortecmotorsports.com/leclerc-takes-rookie-championship-title/, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- Marcus Simmons, (14 January 2015). 'Nicolas Todt protege Charles Leclerc secures F3 deal for 2015', autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 14/01/2015), https://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117356, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- Peter Allen, 'Leclerc is GP3 champion despite collision as De Vries wins', formulascout.com, (Formula Scout, 26/11/2016), http://www.formulascout.com/leclerc-is-gp3-champion-despite-collision-as-de-vries-wins/35825, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Jerez F2: Leclerc crowned champion after crazy finish', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 07/10/2017), https://www.motorsport.com/fia-f2/news/jerez-f2-leclerc-crowned-champion-after-crazy-finish-962759/?s=1, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- 'HERVÉ LECLERC PASSES AWAY', cikfia.com, (CIK-FIA, 21/06/2017), http://www.cikfia.com/newsroom/view/article/herve-leclerc-passes-away.html, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- Valentin Khorounzhiy, 'Leclerc gets Ferrari and Haas development role', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 01/03/2016), https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/leclerc-gets-ferrari-and-haas-development-role-676625/?s=1, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
- 'Leclerc heads day one of Budapest test for Ferrari', (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 01/08/2017), https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2017/8/leclerc-heads-day-one-of-budapest-test.html, (Accessed 02/12/2017)
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