Charles Leclerc and Ferrari, a beautiful love story that began eight years ago, to be precise, in March 2016, when the Monegasque joined the Maranello team’s academy, eventually becoming an official Formula 1 driver from 2019. Despite not achieving the coveted world title in his first five years driving the red car, his love for the Prancing Horse has not diminished for a second. Charles recently decided to commit himself to the team for life just a few weeks ago.
Charles Leclerc, forever tied to Ferrari
“Ever since I became passionate about F1, the red car has always been in my mind,” says Charles in the third episode of “Discovered,” the new documentary produced by Sky Sport on Ferrari, divided into six parts.
“I watched the Monaco GP when I was 3 or 4 years old, very young, with my friend who had an apartment there. We played with toy cars, and I remember playing with the red car and, of course, looking for the red car on the track. Back then, I didn’t know it was called Ferrari, but it has always been the red car, always.”
“I remember very well the first time I came to Maranello. I had just finished a karting test, and Jules Bianchi came to pick me up from the track. I went with him, followed him, hoping to get in, but unfortunately, they didn’t allow me. I waited for Jules in the car for two hours, dreaming of what might be behind that closed door.” – he explained – “I remember dreaming quite a bit. I saw people dressed in red entering the Ferrari Racing Division, and at that age, I dreamed about what could happen inside. Now it’s easier to get in, but I also remember the first time I did it. I couldn’t complete a full tour; Maurizio Arrivabene called me for a visit, and I was stressed like never before in my life. He called me into his office, and we talked about my future, and after that meeting, I signed with the FDA. It was the end of 2015, and after that, I became part of the Ferrari family.”
Continuing with the video interview, the Monegasque reflected on the immense love he has received from fans over the years, who have always seen him as the one who will break the curse, bringing the world title back to Maranello: “When you are a Ferrari driver, it is really important to have the support of the fans.”
“Every time I am at Monza, at Imola, and I see how many people are on the track and how many kilometers they have traveled to be there, how much passion is in their eyes… it gives you a great boost. What do I represent for the fans? That’s a very difficult question. What I feel from their support and passion is a lot.” – the Ferrari man added – “I have experienced both things. Before, I was a fan, and I loved Ferrari, and I dreamed of being here. Now I am on the other side, and I still love Ferrari as I did before entering F1, but now I drive it, so I have to set aside the emotions.”
“I know I am lucky to be supported wherever I go, and this is very important to me. There are drivers who don’t look at this aspect, but I would be lying if I said I don’t care, because it’s not true.”
Despite the arrival of Lewis Hamilton, who will drive for the Prancing Horse from 2025, support for Leclerc will certainly not diminish. The Monegasque, just a few weeks ago, renewed his contract for at least another three seasons, demonstrating once again (if there was ever any doubt) his unconditional love for Ferrari.