F1 Stars – In 2017, Charles Leclerc won the Formula 2 championship. It earned him a seat at Sauber the following year. Alongside driver Marcus Ericsson, he made his first flying hours in Formula 1.
Charles Leclerc has revealed that he felt intimidated by some of his Formula 1 rivals during the early stages of his career in 2018.
After winning the 2017 Formula 2 Championship, the Monegasque driver progressed to F1 with Sauber, partnering Marcus Ericsson for one season before moving to Ferrari in 2019 alongside four-time F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Since joining Ferrari, Charles Leclerc has established himself as one of the most reliable drivers on the grid, securing 75% of Ferrari’s Championship points in 2020.
But Leclerc admits that throughout the opening handful of races with Sauber in 2018, it was a shock for him to be racing the same drivers he had previously been viewing on television.
“I think in the first few races in Formula 1, once I arrived it’s quite a shock that all of the drivers I used to watch on TV, I was racing them,” Leclerc said.
“So in the first few races I have to say I was quite intimidated, but then you cannot keep going like this.
“After a few races you just get used to it and now every time I fight a driver on track, for me, I don’t think about what this person has achieved.”
Having gone head-to-head with F1 titan Lewis Hamilton on multiple occasions since joining Ferrari, Leclerc added: “I’ve got huge respect for everyone on the grid and Lewis has achieved so much in the sport.
“But whenever I have the helmet on, I try to fight him as much as I do anybody else on the grid.”
Leclerc is heading into his fourth F1 season in 2021, and his third with Ferrari as the Italian squad looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2020 campaign.
The 23-year-old is joined at the team by ex-McLaren driver Carlos Sainz – together they form Ferrari’s youngest driver line-up in over 50 years.
The team is confident that it has recovered a lot of its lost speed from 2020, as it looks to drag itself out of the midfield battle it slipped into last year.
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|