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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 (Australia)
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
- 1 Huge Potential, But Still to Realize It: Leclerc’s Career In F1
- 2 Charles Leclerc’s Car-Loving Family of Professional Drivers
- 3 From Karting to F1 Career: How Did It All Begin for Leclerc?
- 4 Can Charles Leclerc Win the Title In 2023?
- 4.1 What difference a year makes: Leclerc’s miserable 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix
- 4.2 A fine showing in Jeddah, but still left to mourn what would have been
- 4.3 More misery for Leclerc in Australia
- 4.4 First podium of the season for Leclerc in Baku
- 4.5 A good fight with Magnussen was not what Leclerc needed in Miami
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.
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.
What difference a year makes: Leclerc’s miserable 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix
Leclerc had begun the 2022 year with a win in the Bahrain Grand Prix and he would like to do this year too. Although, with RedBull’s dominant 2023 challenger it was already difficult and with Mercedes and Aston Martin’s improvement there were questionmarks regarding Ferrari’s early pace. Leclerc, though, managed to pull out of the bag a very good lap in the first qualifying session of the year, managing to qualify in the second row of the grid in third position, behind the two RedBulls, with teammate Sainz behind him. In the race, he got a good start, overtaking Perez in the first lap, although the Mexican quickly repassed him some laps later, showing the superiority of his car. Leclerc was looking good in third, which would be a fine result, but on Lap 40 his engine failed and he retired, stoping in the side of the track.
A fine showing in Jeddah, but still left to mourn what would have been
Leclerc wanted to forget Bahrain as soon as he could, but it wasn’t as easy as he knew that he would carry a 10-second grid penalty in Jeddah, having already exceeded the allocation for the electronic components of the engine. This fact didn’t stop him from putting the second fastest lap in qualifying, behind poleman Perez and taking full advantage of Verstappen’s problems. In the race, he started in 12th position, but slowly started overtaking his slower opponents and within a few laps he was in the Top10. He provided the crowd with some entertainment, overtaking Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon on his soft tyres. But, after Lance Stroll’s retirement and the safety car that came out, Leclerc followed teammate Sainz into the pits and a poor communication with his engineer left him in 7th place behind Hamilton again and behind the charging Max Verstappen. 7th was as high as it would go for Leclerc, who went on to have a quiet race after this point.
More misery for Leclerc in Australia
After two tough weekends in the first two rounds, Leclerc arrived in Albert Park, hoping for a redemption. It was another race that he had won the previous season. After qualifying, it became clear that it would be difficult to repeat this feat, but he could still pick up strong points. He qualified 7th, behind teammate Sainz. In the start of the race, he attempted a pass on Lance Stroll before turn 3, but Stroll, who was on the inside, misjudged his braking point and send Leclerc spinning in the gravel, eventually retiring from the second of three races in 2023.
First podium of the season for Leclerc in Baku
The F1 circus arrived in Baku after nearly a month of absence. Leclerc wanted to put behind his disapointing start to the season behind at a track in which he was already a double poleman. It was a sprint weekend meaning that more points were in the table. Leclerc seized his opportunity, as Ferrari showed speed and picked up the pole for the main race in Sunday with an impressive time, his third consecutive pole in Azerbaijan. In Saturday, he made it poles four in a row, toping the timesheets in the new “Sprint Shootout” session, the qualifying for the sprint. It was going to be a tough ask to keep the rapid RedBulls behind in the race, though, but even keeping one of them would be ideal. And so he did, as he lost the first place to Sergio Perez, but defended the second position from championship leader Max Verstappen, picking up 7 points. In the main race in Saturday Leclerc had to do it all over again. This time he led the race after the first corner, but couldn’t manage to keep none of the RedBulls behind him, as he got overtaken by both Perez and Verstappen. After this point, he drove a pretty lonely race and finished in 3d place picking up his first podium of the year in a much improved performance.
A good fight with Magnussen was not what Leclerc needed in Miami
After his first podium in Baku, Leclerc was back for more in Miami, a place he took the pole position in 2022. But this performance reminded more of Leclerc before Baku. It was a “traditional” race weekend and not a sprint one. But still, Leclerc crashed once again in qualifying ruining his last Q3 lap and bringing the session to an early end, managing to finish only 7th. In the start of the race Leclerc stayed put in 7th place, behind Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, a slower car, but with a very feisty Magnussen behind the wheel. The Danish driver gave a great fight with Leclerc and prohibited the Ferrari from overtaking, even leading him to lose a place to George Russell, too. Magnussen pitted, but when Leclerc did the same, he fell behind him again and battle resumed. It took Leclerc until lap 38 to finally pass Magnussen, a testament to the Haas’ driver’s briliant race. After this Leclerc also managed to pass Pierre Gasly for 6th, but was soon overtaken by the charging Lewis Hamilton who had started on the hard tyres. In a rather concerning weekend for both him and Ferrari, Leclerc managed to finish only 7th.
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