At just 21 years of age, Charles Leclerc is a fast-rising star. His first season with Ferrari in Formula 1 has already seen him win the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix, to the delight of the Scuderia tifosi. Admired by Prince Albert II and fans’ favourite, the young driver is slowly but surely making his mark on the history of car racing and Monaco.
A natural-born driver
He was not yet six years old when he first lined up on the starting grid: from a very young age, Charles Leclerc has spent as much time as possible in the paddocks, at the wheel, with his eyes fixed on the clock. From his first season in karting, at the age of eight, it was clear to see he was a natural-born driver, gradually making his way up the ranks of single-seater racing. With the help of the late driver Jules Bianchi and his manager Nicolas Todt, the Monaco native was crowned champion in GP3 then Formula 2 before entering Formula 1 in 2018 at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. It was then that he achieved the dream of a generation, signing with Ferrari for the 2019 season.
Onto new heights
A rival of the Dutch driver Max Verstappen, with whom he has been competing for years, Charles Leclerc is now vying for the F1 World Champion title with the greatest: Lewis Hamilton, his own teammate Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. After two pole positions at the beginning of the season, following controlled qualifying sessions, the Monegasque driver won his first Grand Prix in September, in style. At Spa-Francorchamps, he became the third youngest winner of a World Championship event, then delighted Ferrari fans at their favourite circuit in Monza, where they had been waiting for a driver from the Italian team to win for nine years and the success of Fernando Alonso. By living up to the hopes placed on him, Charles Leclerc could become world champion very quickly, either by smashing the end of the 2019 season or by completing an outstanding 2020 season.
One thing is certain: many Monegasque are keenly awaiting his return to the principality in May 2020, to perhaps attend an exceptional Grand Prix in Monaco, one that could see the victory of this local boy on his home ground!