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Charles Leclerc is the first and currently the only Monegasque driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix. In his still young F1 career he has been held widely as one of the next “big things” the sport has produced since the so-called “old guard” –namely Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo and Perez- have moved on from this status.
World Championships 🏆
Race Wins 🏁
Debut Race 🏎️
25 March 2018
Nowadays, aged 25, he is entering his prime years and is driving for the most historic team in the sport, Ferrari, carrying the “burden” of delivering success to the most demanding set of fans, the Tifosi.
Huge Potential, But Still to Realize It: Leclerc’s Career In F1
Leclerc’s first season in F1 was 2018, starting out at Sauber, at the team’s first season collaborating with Italian brand Alfa Romeo. Following the steps of his mentor, Felipe Massa, and also the man he eventually replaced in Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, who also started with Sauber, Leclerc was tipped to be a future F1 champion. Sauber is known for its collaboration with Ferrari, giving chances to many Ferrari young talents, and that was exactly the case with Leclerc as well.
In his first year in the sport, teamed up with Marcus Ericsson, he delivered solid point finishes in the competitive F1 midfield for Alfa Romeo. His best result was a sixth place in the chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but a solid run of seventh place finishes towards the end of the season highlighted his consistency too. That was enough for Ferrari to knock on his door, when Kimi Raikkonen’s contract expired.
On his first year with the team, 2019, Leclerc had 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for teammate and the Scuderia produced a good challenger capable of taking the fight to dominant Mercedes. Leclerc took his first pole in F1 in the second race of the year in Bahrain and was on course to win his first ever grand prix, when an engine problem slowed him down and eventually cost him the win. He took his first podium in Bahrain, although, Scuderia Ferrari couldn’t keep up with Mercedes’ pace for the rest of the year. Leclerc, though, managed to take his first F1 win in Belgium. In the next race he managed to take another victory, this time in front of the Scuderia faithful in Monza.
In 2020 Leclerc remained with Ferrari alongside Vettel, but the team made steps backwards in performance and he only managed 2 podium finishes. The next year he was joined in Ferrari by Carlos Sainz, although the team had an even worse year and Leclerc scored just one podium finish. In 2022, with the regulation changes and the return of the ground effect cars Ferrari build a stronger challenger and Leclerc started the season in Bahrain victorious. A second place finish in Jeddah followed and another victory in Australia.
Despite the early positive signs, Ferrari yet again failed to become a genuine title contender, rued by mechanical issues and Red Bull’s superiority. Leclerc won again in Austria and gathered several podiums, managing his best ever finish in F1 with second place in the championship. In 2023 he remains in Ferrari, having a contract until 2024.
The 2018 Spa Crash
Leclerc won his first ever grand prix in Belgium in 2019, although one year before it, in his first season in F1, he suffered a scary crash in the Spa-Francorchamps. Coming up in the first corner, La Source, Leclerc tried to turn right when all of a sudden the McLaren of Fernando Alonso flew in front of Leclerc’s visor, following an earlier carnage started by Nico Hulkenberg. Alonso’s car missed Leclerc’s head only due to the halo, a driver cockpit protection system introduced at the start of the year as a measure against head crashes.
Charles Leclerc’s Car-Loving Family of Professional Drivers
Leclerc was born and raised in Monte Carlo, Monaco. His father, Herve, was also a racing driver having driven F3 cars in the 80’s and 90’s and his younger brother, Arthur, is currently racing in F2. He has an older brother too, Lorenzo. His father Herve died a few days before his F2 championship win in 2017 and he dedicated the championship to him.
Still Looking for Love, But Focused On His F1 Career
He had a long-time relationship with Giada Gianni, from 2015 to 2019, which ended abruptly after Leclerc wanted to focus more in his F1 career. After they split up Gianni said at a social media post that Leclerc “left her” as he wanted to “devote himself only to Ferrari”. Although, in 2019 he started dating Charlotte Sine. Gianni, reportedly, was a friend of Sine. Leclerc’s relationship with Sine ended in December 2022.
Leclerc was a close friend of fellow Ferrari Academy driver, Jules Bianchi, whose tragic death in 2014 Japanese Grand Prix led to the introduction of the halo, which saved Leclerc’s life 4 years later.
Charles Leclerc Net Worth, Salary and Sponsorship Deals
He currently resides in London. His net-worth is estimated at $12 million. However, at the moment, e is one of the highest paid active F1 drivers with his 2023 contract with Ferrari set to earn him an estimated salary of $36 million per year, which is only behind Max Verstappen’s salary for the seaosn. Leclerc also has sponsorship deals with big companies such as Richard Mille and Giorgio Armani.
- Full name: Charles Marc Hervé Perceval Leclerc
- DOB: 16 October 1997
- Age: 25
- Place of Birth: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Nationality: Monegasque
- Team: Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team
- Race number: #16
From Karting to F1 Career: How Did It All Begin for Leclerc?
Leclerc was one of the most promising young drivers to climb up the F1 ladder, hence he was signed by the Ferrari Young Driver Academy in 2016. He started karting at the age of 7 and participated in multiple karting championships until 2013, winning several of them.
He made his single-seater debut in 2014 racing in Formula Renault 2.0, claiming second place in the championship behind future F1 driver Nyck de Vries. In 2015 he moved up to European Formula 3 with VAR Racing finishing fourth and claiming second place in the Macau Grand Prix.
For 2016 he moved to the GP3 Series with ART, claiming the championship in his first attempt. He repeated the feat next year in Formula 2 with Prema Racing, dominating the year with 7 victories.
Can Charles Leclerc Win the Title In 2023?
After the encouraging, yet disappointing, 2022 Ferrari started the 2023 F1 season with a new team principal Frederic Vasseur, who replaced previous boss Mattia Binotto. In pre-season testing the car looked fast, but way behind Red Bull. Mercedes seemed closer to Ferrari than 2022, as well as Aston Martin, which was a surprise package during testing.
In the first weekend of the year in Bahrain Ferrari looked closer to Red Bull than testing and Leclerc managed to qualify in third place, out qualifying teammate Sainz. He was second in the race, behind leader Verstappen, until an engine failure forced him to retire.
As of his predicted finish in the championship, the betting odds don’t really consider Leclerc a favorite for the title. Verstappen is considered the favorite, boosted by Red Bull’s strong car performance, but Leclerc is thought to be one of his closest rivals, along with Lewis Hamilton. Bookmakers give Leclerc odds for 2023 season of 11/1 (12.00) to 13/1 (14.00) to win the championship.
Our prediction, taking into consideration Ferrari’s performance in Bahrain and their reliability issues plus Red Bull’s dominance, puts Ferrari second in the pecking order, with Mercedes and Aston Martin also strong at the start of the year. Leclerc should be the higher non-Red Bull finisher in 2023 and he would rather be second or third, according to Sergio Perez’s performance for Red Bull.