“This guy is quick.” One of the first thoughts that appears when one sees the racing record of a certain young Monegasque driver, whose Formula 3 debut at Silverstone saw him take away a second place finish, a win, and the lead in the rookie standings. Second only to Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s junior Nyck De Vries in the last two years, this is the time for Charles Leclerc to take centre stage and prove he’s got what it takes to be at the top.
Following his maiden F3 victory, I asked Charles a few questions…
Natasha Tsang: What made you decide to race in F3 instead of another series – namely Eurocup which is where most people expected you to go?
Charles Leclerc: After the season of last year, my manager and me thought that it would be better to jump to F3! Firstly there are 3 races per weekend and 11 weekends, so we drive a lot and so we gain a lot of experience! Then loads of drivers were planning to do it! And I felt really good in the car and the tests went well.
NT: F3 has a lot of talented drivers, including yourself of course, where do you think you can finish at the end of the year?
CL: Well, it is hard to know where will we finish, but the team and I are definitely working really hard to win the championship, this is the only thing we want!
NT: Jules Bianchi is a good friend of yours, how did this affect you? (Charles was given the option not to answer this one, so many thanks to him for sharing these touching thoughts. #ForzaJules)
CL: Obviously a lot as I know him since I’m 4 years old, but I know him really well, I know how he is, he is someone that NEVER gives up! He won’t give up again, he will fight, that’s what he always did, and he will win the fight like he always did. I’m sure and I hope that it will happen soon as we are all missing him loads!
NT: If you win the championship you’ll be able to claim the superlicense. Would you still do another year in junior formulae (like GP2) or try and get in F1 in 2016?
CL: We are not here yet, step by step, I will do my best this year and at the end of the championship we will see where I am and which opportunities opens up for me!
The next FIA Formula 3 European Championship race is coming up at Hockenheim on the 1st-3rd May, where Charles will be continuing to battle it out with 35 other drivers for the top step on the podium and those valuable points. Don’t miss it!