Charles Leclerc is a racing driver from Monaco who scored two championship titles in ladder single-seater series on a way to Formula 1. He won GP3 Series in 2016 and FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017. Since March 2016, Leclerc is a member of Ferrari Driver Academy.
Born in October 1997, Leclerc started his racing career in 2005, entering the French karting championship. He was following the footsteps of his father Herve, who was also a racing driver during the 1980s and 1990s. Leclerc collected numerous wins and titles in karting competitions, finishing second in the 2013 World championship, what was his last year of karting.
Runner-up in the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Alps
In 2014, Leclerc joined British team Fortec Motorsports to compete in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps. In fourteen races, he was a race winner two times, finishing second in the points behind Nyck de Vries and the best in the Junior category. Leclerc also made a guest appearance in three rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, scoring three podiums in six races.
Rookie of the Year in the 2015 F3 European Championship
The next step was the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2015, with the Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing. Driving the #7 Dallara-Volkswagen, Leclerc scored four wins and thirteen podiums in 33 races to finish fourth in the overall standings and the best rookie in the championship.
In November 2015, Leclerc traveled to Macau to participated in the famous Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. He was second in the Qualifying race and second in the Main race, behind Felix Rosenqvist.
In 2016, Leclerc was GP3 Series champion with ART Grand Prix
2016 GP3 Series champion with ART Grand Prix
In December 2015, Leclerc took part in post-season testing with ART Grand Prix and Arden International. After that, he joined ART Grand Prix for the 2016 GP3 Series. Driving the #1 car, Leclerc scored his first GP3 win in the season-opening race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Later in the season, he added two more wins and five podiums on his account, winning the championship ahead of his teammate Alex Albon.
Ferrari Driver Academy member since 2016
While he was in the GP3 Series, Leclerc became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He was a development driver for Scuderia Ferrari but also for Haas F1 Team, which was using Ferrari engines. Leclerc participated in three Grand Prix events (GB, Hungary, Germany) in Friday's practice sessions with Haas.
Despite rumors that he would progress directly from GP3 to F1, Leclerc landed to Prema Powerteam to compete in the newly-established FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017.
Charles Leclerc - 2017 Formula 2 champion
Dominant performance in the 2017 Formula 2 Championship
Leclerc's performance in the Formula 2 was dominant. Driving the #1 car, he was on pole eight times in ten rounds, winning six times in twenty races. He secured a championship title during the penultimate round at Jerez, before the season's finale at Yas Marina Circuit.
During the season, Leclerc continued to serve as a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari and Sauber. He participated in the mid-season F1 test at Hungaroring, being the fastest driver during the first day of the test in a Ferrari SF70H. In October, he participated in Friday's practice at Malaysian Grand Prix with Sauber.
Charles' father Herve Leclerc has died in June 2017