“Cannot Keep Going Like This” – Charles Leclerc Reveals Major “Shock” During F1 Debut

Published 03/01/2021, 7:28 AM EST
SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER: Charles Leclerc of Alfa Romeo Sauber and France during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)


Charles Leclerc was immediately identified as a rare talent even before he made his F1 debut at Sauber. The Monegasque had won F2 in his rookie season and had won the GP3 series prior to that. The sky seemed to be the limit for Leclerc. It looked like it was only a matter of time before he raced for a big team. But no matter how much he would have rated himself, driving alongside the likes of F1 legends was always going to be something difficult to digest.

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The current Ferrari driver reveals that he was totally awestruck by the thought of racing world champions and other top tier drivers that he had grown up watching. But in due course, Charles revealed he got used to it.

He said, “I think in the first few races in Formula 1, once I arrived it’s quite a shock that all of the drivers I used to watch on TV, I was racing them. So in the first few races I have to say I was quite intimidated, but then you cannot keep going like this.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN. Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks dejected. F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)

“After a few races you just get used to it. Now every time I fight a driver on track, for me, I don’t think about what this person has achieved.”

Leclerc certainly displayed maturity in his debut season and caught the eye with some impressive results. Thanks to that, he was racing at Ferrari in 2019 where he absolutely smashed it in his first season with the Scuderia. He went on to win 2 races and a total of 10 podiums that year and hasn’t looked back.

Charles Leclerc unfazed when facing Lewis Hamilton

Going up against a perennial world champion is no mean feat. But Leclerc showed he is up to it on more than one occasion in 2019. He might have done it more times last year if he had a better car to pilot. Nevertheless, Charles revealed the key to his success in taking on Lewis and even emerging victorious.

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SPA, BELGIUM. Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme. F1 Grand Prix of Belgium. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)

He said, “I’ve got huge respect for everyone on the grid and Lewis has achieved so much in the sport. But whenever I have the helmet on, I try to fight him as much as I do anybody else on the grid.”

After a tough season last year in which he learned a lot, the Monegasque will hope both he and his team can bounce back. The aim would be to race at the front of the grid and seal a third place finish in the championship. But only time will tell if that’s a possibility or merely a pipe dream.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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