In the 16th episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast, Charles Leclerc talks about the mental side of racing, learning with Sauber, future with Ferrari & Sebastian Vettel and more.
The promising youngster starts the podcast talking about journey into F1. He reveals that until GP3 Series, he had a Plan B to become an engineer if racing didn’t worked out. He talks of falling in love with racing when he karted at the age of three and a half years.
Before that, Leclerc didn’t know much about F1 even though he stayed in Monaco. He cannot recall meeting any driver at an early age in Monaco apart from Daniel Ricciardo when he had come into GP3.
He reveals that his mum was the hair dresser of David Coulthard. Leclerc then moves on to talk about the death of his godfather Jules Bianchi and the Monegasque’s dad Herve last year ahead of the Baku weekend.
Leclerc talks how Formula Medicine and also mental trainers in Ferrari academy helped him to increase his mental strength and force through to keep performing despite the loss in the family. He also credits manager Nicolas Todt for the support in tough times.
Moving on to his F1 step, Leclerc explains how he managed to push through into the pinnacle in single-seater racing despite having spent just the one year in most of junior series he raced in.
He admits the step to F1 was the biggest and the results in the first three races shows the difficultly level – not in terms of driving but getting used to. He says he asked the team to set-up the car with more oversteer as he did in F2.
It so happened that in Baku, the team had to change the set-up and balance the car with less oversteer which eventually helped him realise the set-up he needed to eke out the results he needed F1.
He says he does look at Marcus Ericsson’s data which has helped him in racing while he reveals he also learnt a lot from Sebastian Vettel during his time in the Ferrari academy before his F1 move.
Elaborating on the Ferrari move in 2019, Leclerc reiterates that it is a dream come true and he never believed until he was told that he will race for the team next year. He then talked about going against the likes of Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
The idea is to start the year on parity but if it so happens that Vettel is fighting for the title and Leclerc is not then the Monegasque will support the German in his quest but for now he not devoting his time on Ferrari but more on Sauber.
Elsewhere, Leclerc also talked about the importance of media in the sport – which for him will only increase once he joins Ferrari. When asked if he likes the fame and more the admiration, he admits he did.
[Listen: Pierre Gasly]