Charles Leclerc Is the F1 Driver You Should Be Watching

by 24britishtvMay 6, 2024, 7:40 p.m. 27
-

Nothing inspires pious brand loyalty quite like Ferrari. Evidence of that can be found in the sixth season of Netflix’s docuseries Formula 1: Drive to Survive. In one scene at the Monza Grand Prix — home of the team’s most ardent fans, the tifosi — two Ferraris dart from the starting line while a local Italian woman watching the race on TV tightly clutches a photograph of driver Charles Leclerc, Photoshopped to resemble Jesus, to her heart, like a devout Catholic would brandish a rosary. For many fans, following F1 is akin to a religious experience, and Leclerc is their leader. He may not be No. 1 in the F1 world — that would be the nearly indomitable Max Verstappen — but Leclerc is No. 1 in my heart for the exciting potential I know he’ll inevitably fulfill. Even if you aren’t too familiar with the history of F1 and its drivers, here is what you need to know about the other prince of Monaco.

Leclerc’s biography, as I have learned from an embarrassing amount of YouTube compilations and TikToks, is compelling. Leclerc was born and raised in Monaco, the adopted home of many drivers, and it’s almost as if it were written into his genetic code that he would one day sit in a Formula 1 car. After beginning to race at 5 years old, he sailed through the traditional path to F1, starting with karting (overcoming an incident with future champion Verstappen) all the way to the feeder series, securing a Formula 2 championship title in 2017. A seat with Ferrari was always in sight: As a kid, he once sat outside the team’s famed Maranello complex for hours, imagining himself inside. Today, it’s difficult to imagine Charles Leclerc without Ferrari, and conversely, Ferrari without Charles Leclerc.

Haters may cry, “You only support Charles Leclerc because you find him attractive!” As a proud stan, I reject your gatekeeping. If that was the case, I wouldn’t be getting up in the middle of the night to watch 20 men drive laps for two hours with their faces hidden by their helmets, would I? Some drivers, Leclerc among them, are good-looking and talented. No matter the result, Leclerc meets every race with a professional cool made endearing by his boyish charm. F1 Twitter is particularly fond of his heavily memed moments: the banana costume from his lockdown-era Twitch streams, his filter-heavy thirst traps, his minor crash into the wall at Baku in 2019. (“I am stupid,” he says into the team radio immediately after the accident. So humble!)

Since signing to Ferrari for the 2019 season, Leclerc has repeatedly displayed that he’s capable of winning a championship, if not for Ferrari’s recent run of lackluster cars. His track record proves his consistency, accumulating a miraculous five pole positions last season against Red Bull, who had one of the most dominant cars in the history of the sport. But that ephemeral hope of victory was quickly extinguished by Leclerc’s failure to convert those pole positions into wins in the face of the superhuman Verstappen. Yes, Ferrari is a multibillion-dollar company, but when it comes to F1, they are the underdog. Who wants to watch the same person win over and over? If that doesn’t convince you it’s time to root for Leclerc, consider this: Above all, in my opinion, Ferrari is the chicest team. They are one of the few that bring the kind of storied elegance that’s rare to see in the hypermodernity of F1 today, making the other teams mere mortals in comparison. And so what if I have dreams of seeing Leclerc become a world champion this year, even though Verstappen will most definitely take another title? Sometimes I rewatch Leclerc’s 2019 win at Monza just to feel something. That’s the level of delusion I’m at right now.

Ferrari is synonymous with speed, and this year brings potential for the team to live up to the name with a competitive car capable of winning more races. Leclerc is the only driver to finish in the top four of every race this season so far, while teammate Carlos Sainz is the only driver on the grid not named Verstappen to win a race. Think about it: A 26-year-old Leclerc claiming Ferrari’s first championship in close to two decades could have biblical implications. He’s kind of like a prettier Jesus.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Bayer Leverkusen Complete German Double with DFB Pokal Final Win

by 24britishtvMay 26, 2024, 3:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Conservatives plan to bring back mandatory National Service

by 24britishtvMay 26, 2024, 2 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

WWE King And Queen Of The Ring 2024: 5 Smart Booking Decisions

by 24britishtvMay 26, 2024, 1 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Murray, 2-time PGA Tour winner, dies at age 30

by 24britishtvMay 25, 2024, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

CONFIRMED lineups: Real Madrid vs Betis, 2024 La Liga

by 24britishtvMay 25, 2024, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kyle Walker defends Man City nightclub visit before FA Cup final defeat

by 24britishtvMay 25, 2024, 7 p.m.2