Charles Leclerc represents the pride of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Growing up under the guidance of Massimo Rivola, the Monegasque joined the Maranello youth program in 2016 after an excellent 2015 in the F3 European Championship which saw him immediately impress at Silverstone on his debut weekend together with Antonio Giovinazzi and another rookie like George Russell. In 2016 and 2017 Charles Leclerc won the GP3 and F2 at the first attempt, first entered in GP3 in the ART Grand Prix team – beating the internal competition of Alexander Albon, Nyck De Vries and Nirei Fukuzumi – and then as a Prema driver in the antechamber of the F1.
In 2018 Charles Leclerc had the chance to make his F1 debut by overtaking Antonio Giovinazzi, who had to wait another year on the bench before finally having his chance with Alfa Romeo Racing, when Charles got promoted to Ferrari after only one season in the Circus. The Monegasque signed with the Maranello team until 2024, while Giovinazzi for his part will be able to compete in his third season in F1 at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2021 after the reconfirmation obtained on the eve of Imola thanks to convincing performances in the presence of a world champion like Kimi Raikkonen.
In the next season the list of F1 drivers forged by the Ferrari Driver Academy or i the role of development driver of the Prancing Horse will probably expand. Mick Schumacher is expected at the start in Formula 1. Michael’s son, winner of the European F3 in 2018, is F2 leader with two rounds from the conclusion of the championship. With Alfa Romeo Racing at complete, Mick will most likely join Haas.
Interviewed by the German newspaper Sport Bild Charles Leclerc said he was looking forward to Schumi jr’s debut: “He is a great driver and I hope to see him in the paddock next year – said the Ferrari driver -if he can be my teammate in the future? Why not, it’s not up to me to decide, but I obviously wish him a future in Ferrari.”
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