Charles Leclerc signed for his first season with Ferrari in 2019. The Monaco youth became the youngest ever Ferrari driver to take top spot on the podium when he won the Belgian Grand Prix at just 21 years old, sending Scuderia tifosi wild yet again a week later with another victory on the transalpine Monza circuit. Admired by Prince Albert II and a firm fan favourite, Leclerc has stayed on track ever since, slowly but surely making his mark on the history of motorsport – and of Monaco, too.
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.
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!
Charles Leclerc ended his first season with Ferrari in 4th place in the championship, with seven pole positions and two wins to his name. Despite a tricky 2020, the driver is still living up to expectations and gaining in experience with every race. Having learned the ropes from Sebastian Vettel, he is now the lead driver for one of the most relentless and competitive F1 teams today. It’s a huge challenge, and one that bodes extremely well for a not-too-distant future where we see the Monegasque driver achieve the holy grail: his first World Championship title. While we wait, both here on the Rock and around the world, a win for the Monegasque youngster on his own turf would be a fine thing indeed. Charles Leclerc on top of the podium at home at the Monaco Grand Prix – now that really would be history in the making!
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