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After 13 Hours of Labor, Charles Leclerc Confesses to Finally Overcoming Off-Track Fear

Published 01/07/2023, 7:50 AM EST

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via Reuters

Charles Leclerc is a man of many talents. He can play the piano, scuba dive, fly a plane, and, most importantly, he knows how to drive his car safely and fast. But wait, fly a plane? Yes. The Monegasque has been learning to fly the plane for over a year now. But the reason behind his motivation—or, rather, necessity—is quite peculiar.

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The Ferrari driver last year in an interview with the New York Times, Leclerc confessed to being uncomfortable in planes. He said, “I’ve never been particularly confident in a plane. This is something that has pushed me, even more, to pass my plane license so if ever something went wrong, I would understand it all and I can be in control.”

via Reuters

Now, talking with the Gazzetta, the Ferrari driver has given an update on his learning, and he for sure has come a lot farther than last time.


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In the interview, he said, “I’ve already had a few lessons, I’m now at 11 to 13 hours of flying, let’s say I have the basics. I had to stop, I hope to start again in 2023. There is a lot of theory to study and I obviously like the practice more. I like the stall tests, because there’s adrenaline, but also checking the plane in general. And to say that I’ve always been afraid of flying…”

“Even though I’ve taken planes countless times in my life, I wasn’t calm. Now, knowing what pilots do and all the options there are in case of unexpected events, has reassured me.” 

The adrenaline rush and the G-forces in an F1 car are said to be similar to the level one in a jet. So, the learning prospect may be new for the driver, but the physical challenges might not be something that he isn’t familiar with.

Charles Leclerc’s future flying aspirations

The tradition of flying past three jets, and painting the sky over the Monza before the race, is well known. Each year, Ferrari takes an iconic team photo with planes in the background.


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Speaking about Frecce Tricolori, Charles Leclerc expressed his desire to be on those jets. When asked if he’d like to be invited for a ride on the team, Leclerc said, “I’ve tried something like this before, but on those jets it would be amazing.”


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WATCH THIS STORY: Charles Leclerc Gets Into Heated Debated With Max Verstappen Fan Over Dinner Time Conversation

The tradition of Frecce Tricolori lives on, despite F1’s sustainability goals. But Leclerc might have to wait until he’s off the grid to be a part of it.

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Written by:

Manan Goel


One take at a time

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh