Charles Leclerc has long been destined for a Formula 1 career, and recent years had seen that destiny intertwined with Ferrari. Having followed his godfather Jules Bianchi into the Ferrari Driver Academy, 2019's promotion to the Scuderia begins an emotional journey for the Monaco-native, who has dedicated much of his career success to Bianchi, who lost his life as a result of injuries sustained in a crash during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, which he drove for Marussia. With titles under his belt in GP3 and Formula 2 on his way to F1, Leclerc has been earmarked as a future champion, and he's already in the right place to make good on that it seems.
Impressive debut with Sauber
Having romped to the F2 title in 2017, a campaign that featured memorable drives in Bahrain and Baku especially, much was expected of Leclerc, even though he was joining a Sauber team that had finished bottom of the constructors' standings the year prior. Key in Leclerc's move to the Swiss outfit, however, were strengthened ties to engine supplier Ferrari, who had signed Leclerc to its academy in 2016 and handed him testing duties.
After a struggle in the first three races of the season, Leclerc suddenly found his groove in Baku – scene of one of his best F2 performances – as he scored a sixth-place finish to become just the second Monegasque to take points from a grand prix since Louis Chiron in 1950.
Leclerc comfortably outperformed experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson, outqualifying the Swede 17-4 and taking points in 10 races.
Ferrari come calling
Leclerc's impressive start to life in F1 sparked many rumours that he would replace former world champion Kimi Raikkonen in the Scuderia's line-up, and it was confirmed in September that Ferrari would break with tradition and give the young Leclerc a chance to prove his worth alongside four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.