Charles Leclerc left the world of motor racing in awe with his outstanding performance in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The 20-year-old Monégasque secured himself the 1st place – making him an unrivalled champion, who finished the season 72 points ahead of the runner up.
He has proved his talent and passion in various single-seater racing series earlier in his career. Leclerc finished his first two seasons of single-seater racing as 1st Rookie (2014 and 2015), with his overall results being 2nd place in the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Championship, and 4th place in the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. In 2016, Leclerc became the GP3 Series Champion.
His career – marked by passion, dedication, and unparalleled success – has led him straight to the top. Charles Leclerc will be starting his first season as a full-time Formula 1 driver for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team in 2018. Continue reading to learn more about his thoughts and goals for his upcoming Formula 1 debut.
1. You are about to start your first season in Formula 1. How do you feel and what are your expectations?
Charles Leclerc: “It feels absolutely amazing. Like for any racing driver, signing the first contract as a full-time driver in Formula 1 is a dream come true.
As for my personal expectations – my primary goal is to continue developing my skills as a driver, and to gain as much experience in Formula 1 as I can.
In terms of my expectations and goals, I will work hard to support the team in developing the car during the season, so that we are able to obtain the best possible results in the 2018 season.”
2. What are your plans for off-season training in preparation for your first season in F1?
“I always work very hard during the winter breaks to get into the best possible shape for the start of the next season. I generally like to spend time in the mountains, and like to combine cross-country skiing with biking, running, and swimming. This winter, I will mainly spend time in Italy and Spain for training sessions.”
3. What are your first impressions of the team?
“I have had the opportunity to get to know the team already, as I have completed four FP1 sessions and two Pirelli tyre tests in 2017. From the first moment on, all of the team members were very welcoming and helpful, and made me feel comfortable.
I have already worked with some of the Ferrari engineers in the past, and I know Frédéric Vasseur from my time in GP3, when I drove for his team, ART Grand Prix. We have always had a very good relationship and I look forward to building on this next year.
4. How has working with Marcus (Ericsson) been and what are your expectations from him as a teammate for the upcoming season?
“It has been quite easy to get to know Marcus. He is going into his fifth season in Formula 1 and I can definitely learn from him, especially in terms of all of the new procedures which I am currently getting used to. My main expectation and goal for the season in terms of our cooperation is that we work together constructively, and provide the team with as much feedback as possible to develop the car in the right direction, so that we can both have a satisfying season.”
5. What is the story behind your number, 16?
“My favourite number is 7. Unfortunately, that number is already taken. I was born on the 16th of October, so the number 16 is significant to me. Plus, if you add 1 and 6, you get 7 – that’s a good compromise!