Charles Leclerc has, so far, only driven in one Spanish Grand Prix. At the 2018 Spanish GP, the 21-year-old Charles Leclerc stood tenth, in his very first and only race at the celebrated Barcelona circuit.
At the 66-lap contest this year, it appears that there may be better things on the horizon for the noted Ferrari driver. After all, as seen thus far from the four contests that have been held, Charles Leclerc has already sort of delivered on his promise.
Had the ill-fated encounter with luck not had happened at Bahrain, Charles Leclerc, who became the 99th F1 driver to grab a pole would have been on the top step of the podium. The fastest lap at Baku, despite a poor qualifying result, meant that the Scuderia’s golden boy was out there to stamp his authority against the very best in the game.
But that told, despite spurts of excellence from the two Ferrari drivers, including the back-to-back P3 finishes by the experienced Sebastian Vettel, there’s no significant breakthrough that has been scored by either of these talents.
So when the news about Ferrari going to carry major engine upgrades for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix arrived, one couldn’t ignore the enthusiasm of Charles Leclerc, currently fifth on the driver’s standings behind Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, and Verstappen (in that order).
That told, what does the young Ferrari first-timer have to say ahead of the Spanish race and on his team’s chances and fate?
“This is probably the track where it’s hardest for the driver to make a difference,” said Leclerc.
“The reason is simple: each one of us knows it by heart, right down to the smallest detail, as it’s home to the majority of tests.
“I have good memories from February’s testing, even if the conditions were very different back then, with very low air and track temperatures.
“All the same, the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit is a benchmark, because if you go well here, you know you have a car that will be very competitive for the rest of the season.
The above told, what’s going to be a key differentiator for the Prancing Horse is how the team conducts itself in the famous Grand Prix event. This, it must be remembered, is a venue where avid youngsters such as Max Verstappen clinched a thrilling victory in the past, and a venue where the likes of Alonso and Raikkonen winning (sensational contests) notwithstanding has seen Hamilton win on 3 previous occasions.