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via Reuters

Friendships on the paddock are a treasured aspect of the sport. With only 20 of the best drivers in the world competing against each other, everyone is competitive. Yet, friendships thrive in the sport. Charles Leclerc shared who he considers being his closest friends on the grid, some of whom he grew up competing with.

Leclerc mentioned the history of poor relationships in the sport. “The lack of friendship is something I’ve seen the most in the past. The generation before mine was made up of people who were very little connected to each other.”

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However, now things have changed. Leclerc gets along with his toughest competitors. “I get along well with the guys I run against. With Verstappen or with Lando Norris … But if I have to choose a friend, I say Pierre Gasly.”

Gasly and Leclerc grew up competing in karts together. Now, the two battle it out in the midfield. However, the friendship is strong off the track. “We’ve known each other since we were six, we ran and went on vacation together. The bond is particularly strong.”

Both the drivers have had their fair share of on-track feuds; the most recent being the collision in the Styrian GP. Leclerc collided with Gasly; the Frenchman was upset his friend didn’t get investigated for the move. Nonetheless, competing in the big league with the kid you grew up with has got to be a strong bonding force.

Charles Leclerc on his biggest competitor

The Monegasque only competes with himself. Leclerc reveals that he refuses to compare himself with others. “I prefer to focus on what I can and must do.”

Currently 6th on the driver’s board, Charles Leclerc only looks to improve himself with each race. The driver has played a crucial role in the battle between Ferrari and McLaren; the Scuderia has overtaken McLaren to take third on the ladder.

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via Reuters

Yet, Leclerc only works for more. ” I know what my weaknesses are and I’m working on them all the time, every time I make a mistake I dedicate a lot of time to analysis and reflection, I try to understand exactly where wrong behavior comes from.”

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This reflection and understanding help him become a better driver. ” I am convinced that I have the potential to emerge. So, I want to work hard to bring out the best version of myself.”

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With the incredible Tifosi awaiting him at Monza, Leclerc is familiar with the feeling of winning in front of the Italian crowd. With the red car to fuel the Tifosi, Leclerc will surely push for the win for Ferrari’s home race.

Watch this story: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

Written by

Shreya Sanjeev

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Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.
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