A precocious champion with undeniable talent, Scuderia Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is striving to return Championship glory back to Maranello for the first time since 2008. He has not stopped developing his innate talent since his earliest days, thanks to his sharp intelligence, a pronounced taste for hard work and an exceedingly likeable personality. Management by Jean Todt's son Nicolas has been a significant enabler for him in his journey to the pinnacle of motorsport.
Charles began racing carts from an early age, quickly establishing himself as a future star, becoming the youngest ever winner of the French Championship (2009), the Monaco Kart Cup (2010), the CIK-FIA Junior World Cup (2011), the WSK Series (2012) and the Winter Cup (2013), to name a few.
His rapid rise continued in single-seater from 2014 onwards. Top rookie in Formula Renault in his first season, then in Formula 3 the following year, he raised the pace further in 2016 by winning the GP3 Series before dominating the 2017 season of FIA Formula 2 on his first attempt. Spotted by Nicolas Todt in 2010, the Monégasque driver joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016, and made his Formula 1 debut with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 in 2018, impressing sufficiently in his debut season to take former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen’s seat at Scuderia Ferrari.
2019 - The SF90
After an impressive pre-season testing programme, in which the car showed very strong outright pace, Charles attempted to take the fight to the ever-dominant Mercedes and would probably have been even more successful but for a few errors and a few reliability issues. He took seven pole positions, outshining veteran teammate Sebastian Vettel, and converted two into victories; a maiden win at Spa before delivering victory in front of a jubilant Tifosi at Monza. Come the end of the season, Leclerc took fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, 24 points ahead of his much more experienced colleague. Leclerc was the standout star of Ferrari’s season, immediately looking the part, and, without some team mishaps and a few errors himself, he may well have been in championship contention.
2020 - The SF1000
The 2020 season was below Charles’ expectation as he could only jump onto the podium on two occasions; a second place at the season opening Austrian Grand Prix and a third position at the British Grand Prix were the highlights of a disappointing year. Consistent points scoring saw him finish eighth in the Drivers' Championship, thoroughly outperforming his teammate with three times as many points, despite double the retirements.
2021 - The SF21
Joined by new Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz, Charles looked to help Ferrari bounce back from the disappointment of 2020. Charles came the closest of the duo to winning a race in 2021, being overtaken by a charging Lewis Hamilton just two laps from the end of the British Grand Prix, instead earning his sole podium of the year. Despite close rival McLaren’s strong performances and victory at Monza, the cool consistency of the SF21 and its driver duo saw Ferrari finish nigh on 50 points above the British team to convincingly take third in the Constructors’ Championship. Charles secured two pole positions, though sadly was unable to begin his home race at the front of the grid due to driveshaft damage after crashing at the end of a tense qualifying session. The teammates were well matched, Sainz edging Charles in the Championship, though the Monegasque could point to two retirements as the main cause of this. Charles held the advantage in qualifying, average 1.5 grid places above the Spaniard.
This season sees the introduction of radically different 2022 cars meeting the new FIA technical regulations. Formula 1 hopes that the new rules will bring more exciting racing straight out of the box, and on into the future. Its a clean design slate for the teams, heralding a new era in Formula one, and we look forward to seeing Charles and Carlos fighting to put Ferrari back on top in 2022!
Charles' Teammates at Ferrari
Coming through to the top with Red Bull before joining Ferrari, Vettel had already won more championships than all but two drivers in F1 history by the time he was just 26, his four back-to-back world titles coming between 2010 and 2013. Boasting more than 50 pole positions and race victories, he is statistically ranked above many of the biggest names in Formula 1 history. Though the mission at Ferrari didn't go to plan, Vettel now wears green, leading Aston Martin’s revival.
The son of a double World Champion rallying great, Carlos has motorsport in his DNA, making his single-seater debut in 2010. After winning the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series, the door opened for entry into F1. Debuting with Toro Rosso in 2015, Carlos switched to Renault for the final four races of 2017 and continued with them through the 2018 season. He joined McLaren for 2019 and 2020, earning his first podium in Brazil in 2019, before Maranello beckoned.