Charles Leclerc is on the right track for Formula 1
Charles Leclerc stands out in Formula 2, FIA’s gateway to Formula 1, during the first leg of the championship. The current GP3 Championship titleholder and Richard Mille partner prompted a performance of Monaco’s national anthem in his first two races on the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain.
Saturday 15 April set the tone, when Charles took to the grid in pole position for his first race with the Prema Racing team. Waging an all-out battle, he struggled against Artem Markelov and Norman Nato, both seasoned drivers in this discipline. The skill and discipline of this young prodigy allowed him to secure a third-place on the podium, but this blazing start only whet his appetite.
On Sunday 16 April, the rookie would settle for nothing less than victory. While leading the sprint race, Charles undertook a tyre change just 9 laps before the finish. This daring move forced him to give the race his all. He proceeded to gain on the leading drivers at a rate of three to four seconds per lap, flying by his rivals to a podium position two laps before the end of the race. One lap later, and Leclerc had caught up to Rowland and Ghiotto to claim his first triumph in Formula 2 by a 1.569-second margin. The shrewd strategist had pulled off a feat worthy of the greatest drivers of Formula 1.
“To be honest, before the last four laps, I didn’t believe it was possible for us to catch up the lost time, but Luca and Oliver fought each other for a while, and we managed to win. I have my engineer to thank for the excellent car, and my team for the brilliant strategy!”
The 19-year-old driver is off to a roaring start with a pole position and two podium finishes, one of these a victory, and now tops the Provisional Overall Ranking for the F2 Championship, with a total of 36 points.
“I am so astonished by this performance that I’m still in shock. Charles demonstrated both tremendous daring and great skill. His feat will without a doubt remain in everyone’s mind as the exploit of this Championship. Charles is proving himself worthy of F1, and has every chance of becoming a great driver,”
shared Richard Mille.
Winning this race with brio, Charles has once again demonstrated he has all the qualities a Formula 1 driver: discipline, determination, and verve. Next up, the Barcelona-Calatunya circuit in Barcelona, Spain to support Charles on 12-14 May.