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33. Charles Leclerc

leclerc, charles
Age 25
Occupation Driver, Scuderia Ferrari
Nationality Monegasque
Position Last Year 28

Born to father Hervé Leclerc and mother Pascale, Leclerc grew up the middle child between an older brother, Lorenzo and a younger brother, Arthur. Throughout his childhood and early career, Leclerc maintained a close relationship with the late Jules Bianchi, to whom he was a godson.

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His father, Hervé, also raced cars, driving in Formula 3 in the 1980s and 1990s. Hervé died after a long illness, aged 54, just four days before Leclerc would go on to win the feature race at the 2017 Baku Formula 2 round.

Leclerc is trilingual and fluent in French, Italian, and English. Although the French pronunciation of his name uses silent final consonants, he has stated that he often uses Anglicized diction when speaking English. He has said “he likes both” and that others using either pronunciation is acceptable. Leclerc has described his religious stance as “[believing] in God, but [not someone] who would pray or go to church.”

In 2011, he won the CIK-FIA KF3 World Cup and the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy. In 2012, he was WSK Champion, and in 2013, he finished runner-up in the European and Under 18 class with Fortec Motorsport. One year later, still with Fortec, he took the runner-up spot in the ALPS Championship. He was the best rookie in his debut season in Formula 3 in 2015, when he raced for Van Amersfoort Racing, finishing fourth in the championship.

In 2016, Charles became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and won the GP3 series with ART Grand Prix. The following year he won the Formula 2 Championship on his first attempt. In 2018, Charles made his Formula 1 debut with the Alfa Romeo Sauber team, scoring 39 points. In 2019, he partnered with Sebastian Vettel in the Scuderia Ferrari driver line-up. Shortly before Christmas, Scuderia Ferrari announced that it had extended its contract to include the 2024 season.

In 2020, Charles had to call on all his skills to deal with the shortcomings of the SF1000, scoring three times more points than his team-mate, thus contributing 75% of the team’s total, bringing it sixth place in the Constructors’ championship. The Monegasque was eighth in the Drivers’ classification, his best results being two podium finishes – a second place in Austria and a third in Great Britain – along with a further eight points finishes.

In 2021, he took the pole at the Monaco GP, although he could not start the race because of a technical problem with the car. There was another pole in Azerbaijan, and he drove brilliantly at Silverstone to finish second, leading the race until two laps from the flag. He took the SF21 into the points 18 times from 22 race starts, finishing seventh in the Drivers’ classification, thus playing a significant part in Ferrari securing third place in the Constructors’ championship.

In 2022, he took nine pole positions, which put him third on the all-time list of Ferrari drivers behind Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda. He also won three times, in Bahrain, Australia and Austria, to finish second in the Drivers’ championship.

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