Charles Leclerc

Country: 
Full Name: 
Charles Leclerc
Birth Date: 
16 October, 1997
Birth Place: 
Monte Carlo
Driver Status: 
Current
Driver Height: 
180cm
Driver Weight: 
65kg
42
Races
2
Wins
7
Poles
0
Titles

Charles Leclerc Biography

The Monegasque began is karting career in 2005 and quickly climbed the French national series to KF2 with ART Grand Prix in 2012 when he claimed the WSK Euro Series title as well as becoming CIK-FIA European KF2 championship runner-up and CIK-FIA under-18 world champion.

After a final year of karting in the CIK-FIA World KZ championship, Leclerc moved up to single-seater racing in Formula Renault 2.0 and finished runner-up in his rookie year to Nyck de Vries. In just his second season of single-seaters Leclerc quickly reached the sharp-end of the Euro F3 and won his maiden race in just his third start.

Despite being a firm title contender over the first half of the season Leclerc’s form dropped off over the closing rounds to see him finish fourth place in the overall drivers’ championship but he did hold on to the rookies’ title.

In 2016, Leclerc switched into the GP3 Series to re-join former squad ART Grand Prix and stormed to the title in his rookie year. In the same year Leclerc also joined the Ferrari Driver Academy and was named a development driver for both Haas F1 and Ferrari – taking part in four F1 free practice sessions for the US squad.

Leclerc continued his meteoric rise up the junior ranks as GP3 Series champion by winning the FIA Formula 2 title in his maiden year for Prema Powerteam with a round to spare. The Monegasque also enjoyed four further F1 practice outings and tests with Sauber.

Leclerc’s work with Sauber, coupled with Alfa Romeo’s new technical and title sponsor deal with the Swiss team, saw him land a full-time F1 drive for 2018 for the new-look Alfa Romeo Sauber team. Despite a rocky start to life in F1, Leclerc soon became a regular points-scorer, leading Sauber's push up the grid as it went from backmarker to occasional midfield leader in less than a year.

Some outstanding displays prompted Ferrari to promote him to its senior team for 2019 as Sebastian Vettel's teammate, making him the youngest driver to race for the Scuderia in over 50 years - bringing with it significant amounts of pressure.

Yet Leclerc was able to take it all in his stride, quickly adjusting to life at the front of the grid. He came within 10 laps of winning just his second race for Ferrari, seeing his dominant display in Bahrain from pole be derailed by an engine failure that meant he finished third. It was not until the Belgian Grand Prix at the beginning of September that Leclerc finally took his first win - Ferrari's first of the season too - on a weekend tinged with sadness following the death of his friend and peer Anthoine Hubert in a Formula 2 race. One week later, Leclerc felt nothing but joy as he won for Ferrari at Monza, marking its first home victory in nine years.

Leclerc would end his second season in F1 with more poles than any other driver (7), but could not get close to the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings. Tensions brewed with Vettel through the closing stages of the year, most notably in Brazil when they collided while battling for position, but Leclerc was still able to end the year ahead of his four-time world champion teammate in the final standings.

Ferrari rewarded Leclerc's excellent form through 2019 with a new five-year contract, securing his future until the end of 2024 and making clear to the F1 world that the Monegasque has a big say in its future prospects.