Favourites, milestones, expertise – How well do they know each other? The two Scuderia Ferrari F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc compete in a fun quiz at the end of a thrilling F1 season 2019.
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Born and raised a Bull, then a Prancing Horse, and now the face of Aston Martin’s Formula 1 revival, F1’s poster boy of early achievement had won more than all but two drivers in history by the time he was just 26, including back-to-back world titles between 2010 and 2013.
Vettel’s trademark is the pure pace – and of course his one-finger victory salute. In the chase to the chequered flag, he likes to lead from the front and just like his hero, Michael Schumacher. But for all his competitive streak, Vettel has a playful side too and has been known to let loose with a spot of Beatles karaoke – and baby can he drive a car.
Alongside his four world crowns he can boast more than 50 pole positions and race victories, ranking him – statistically – above many of the biggest names in F1 history. No wonder then that he has twice been hand-picked to return some of Grand Prix oldest names to glory.
Following his move to Maranello, that mission didn’t exactly go to plan as Vettel’s rivalry with Lewis Hamilton intensified. Then came an additional thorn in his side – young-gun Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, the first man to outscore him over a season at the Scuderia.
Now, as he takes on a new challenge as Aston Martin’s team leader, Vettel will need to call on all his speed and experience if he’s to reassert himself over his rivals – and to re-establish his reputation as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Born in the Mediterranean idyll of Monaco, Leclerc arrived in F1 on a tidal wave of expectation.
Practically peerless on his way to the GP3 and Formula 2 crowns, he showcased a dazzling array of skills from scorching pole positions, commanding victories – even when his car caught fire twice at Silverstone – to an ability to muscle his way through the pack. Winning back-to-back championships also taught Leclerc how to handle pressure, another useful tool in the big pond of Formula 1 racing.
Leclerc may have quit school early, but he looks every inch the complete driver. World champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have even gone on record to say Leclerc is the real deal – and it’s not often they agree on anything…
Stepping up to F1 in 2018, Leclerc showed flashes of ballistic pace on Saturdays and racing brilliance on Sundays, dragging his Sauber beyond its limits – and earning himself a money-can’t-buy race seat at Ferrari for 2019, stepping into the shoes of the Scuderia’s last world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.
There he immediately put the cat among the proverbial pigeons, unafraid to go wheel-to-wheel with established number one, Sebastian Vettel. A maiden F1 victory at Spa was followed by another a week later on Ferrari’s hallowed home turf of Monza. The Tifosi had found another new hero – who then became the first man to out-score Vettel over a season with the Scuderia, a feat he repeated in crushing fashion the following year.
Out of the car, Leclerc is modest and thoughtful – but then he is on his own very personal mission. This exciting young talent is racing for his late father Herve and his friend and mentor Jules Bianchi, the F1 driver who died in 2015.
On the evidence so far, he is doing them both proud.