Throwing young talent into the heat of the battle at the very front of the Formula One grid is a bold move. For Ferrari, who have chosen to do just that by promoting the 20-year-old rookie Charles Leclerc to the team for next season, it is also out of character, given their usually more conservative approach to appointing drivers. Yet the Scuderia are far from taking a chance with Leclerc, one of the most exciting talents in the sport, who has proved he has the attributes to partner Sebastian Vettel in the most prestigious drive in motor racing.
Charles is calm, assured and mature beyond his years. The talented Monégasque racing driver dealt with both the death of his godfather, Jules Bianchi, in 2015 and his father last year with remarkable composure. Before this season began he was honest about the scale of task that lay ahead and has since proved able to adapt and learn with alacrity.
It comes as no surprise that Scuderia Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was impressed by Charles’s maturity, when he saw him traveling to Baku a year ago after losing his father. In an interview with Sky Italy he said: “We were on the same flight to Baku last year and I asked him what he was doing on the flight considering what happened to him. He replied: I have to win this race, then I’ll go back and bury my father. There I understood that Charles knows how to take his responsibilities. There I understood that the boy is there. If someone manages to concentrate in such a situation, what is a Formula One Grand Prix compared to this?” – Maurizio Arrivabene said, as reported by Sky Italy.