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Leclerc’s Lie Becomes Reality

03/06/2024

Charles Leclerc reflects on telling his dying father a hopeful lie about signing with Formula 1, a dream that materialised after his passing.

Charles Leclerc spoke about the lie he told his father, Hervé, a few days before his death, claiming he had already signed a Formula 1 contract, which he actually signed a month later.

Hervé Leclerc passed away in 2017 after a long illness, during the season in which Ferrari’s junior became the first driver to win back-to-back titles in GP3 and GP2.

Leclerc sadly lost his father at the age of just 54, before he could reach Formula 1, but just before his death, the young Monegasque told his father he had signed to join Formula 1 – which wasn’t entirely true at the time.

It came to fruition a month later, with Leclerc joining Sauber for his first season in Formula 1 before being promoted to Ferrari the following year.

Leclerc paid an emotional tribute to his father after winning his first Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, a race victory that was their shared ‘dream’ since he was a child.

Reflecting on the success he has enjoyed since, and for his younger brother Arthur, who began his GT journey with Ferrari this year, he recalled how his father would feel about his career today while elaborating on the lie he told just before his father’s death, which eventually came true.

“I think my father would be extremely proud,” Leclerc said on the On Purpose podcast.

“Because he passed away a year before I entered Formula 1, it was very difficult as I had unfortunately not signed my Formula 1 contract, which was the ultimate goal for our family.”

“Formula 1 is really where you want to be once you start a racing career. It’s where you aim to be one day, but I lied to him two days before he died and told him, ‘Look, I’ve signed my Formula 1 contract’. The year was going well, I was quite confident it would happen, but I also knew it was only a matter of days before he passed away.”

“And I remember that night, I told my mother, and she was quite angry with me, saying, ‘You shouldn’t lie to your father’ – and that stayed in my mind for months.”

“Fortunately, I signed my contract a month later. He was no longer there, and I then found much more peace within myself because I thought, ‘Okay, I didn’t lie to my father. I told him the truth, I anticipated things, everything is fine’. And it was a very good moment because, as I said, Formula 1 is really every driver’s goal, and it was hard to accept that he was leaving without knowing what would come next, but I think he would be really proud.”

Leclerc also expressed his relief that his Formula 1 dream became a reality, not just for his career, but also so he didn’t have to live with the lie he told his father.

“I think I would have lived so poorly with a lie like this for the rest of my life, so I’m happy I did everything to make it happen. It happened.”

“And he also sacrificed a lot for me. I never like to say I sacrificed anything in my life, because that’s not the case.”

“I just did everything I wanted to do, which was racing, even if, yes, I didn’t spend much time at home when I was a child, but I spent my time on the track, which I loved the most.”

“He, on the other hand, sacrificed a lot because motorsport is unfortunately a very expensive sport.”

“He had to save so that I could do what I loved most, which is driving, and I was aware of that – and also of the fact that he couldn’t see my mother very often because he was always with me at the races.”

“So, I think he made a lot more sacrifices than I did, because for me, it was always pure pleasure.”

F1 Dream Realised Posthumously

F1 Dream Realised Posthumously. F1 Dream Realised Posthumously

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