The Japanese Grand Prix weekend will be tough for Charles Leclerc, especially on the emotional spectrum. This is because it serves as a reminder of the tragic loss of his good friend and god father, Jules Bianchi.
So, the Ferrari driver will be extra motivated to perform well and do Bianchi proud with a strong result.
“I had a hard time last year when I hit the road for the first time. For me, this place is always linked to the fatal accident of Jules,” Leclerc said.
The French driver suffered from a fatal crash at the circuit in 2014 and died a year later. He became the last on-track Formula One fatality since Ayrton Senna in 1994. Now, Charles Leclerc race at the circuit with the tragedy on the back of his mind.
However, the Monegasque driver is also looking forward to racing at the circuit. After the disappointment of the Russian Grand Prix, where Ferrari squandered a win opportunity, he is hoping to get another race win.
“It is very demanding and technical. In that regard, it is definitely the best circuit on the calendar. From fast turns to a hairpin, it has all the features that make this an iconic job.”
Leclerc will hope that Ferrari are fast in Japan and that he can win for Bianchi. However, he will face stiff competition from teammate Sebastian Vettel, who has shown that he will not willingly help him.
In addition to that, if the Ferrari duo squabble, either Mercedes or Red Bull will be waiting to pick up the pieces. Also, the Japanese Grand Prix is the home race for Honda, so they will be aiming for a win or a good result.
Controversial team orders aside, Ferrari have improved remarkably, since the summer break. Three wins in Belgium and Italy for Leclerc and a win in Singapore for Vettel is proof of that.