Monegasque young talent Charles Leclerc secured a deal with Ferrari and will be therefore member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. The 18-year-old racer will also contest in GP3 after a season in the FIA F3 Championship.
Last April F1technical interviewed Charles about his progress and rising in motorsport. The young talent then showed his potential and speed in the masterclass of F3 series, in the FIA F3. He did not fail to impress in his inaugural season.
Charles won 4 races, set 5 fastest laps, scored 13 podium finishes and grabbed four times the pole position. His first six race weekends impressed everyone, but he had to experience a set-back on the last five weekends due to different reasons. Finally he went on to secure the fourth place in the championship. He did so against drivers with much more experience in that series.
Charles’ pure speed, humility, feel for racing cars, impressive personality have fascinated many. His immediate success secured him a race seat in GP3 with ART GP. He showed thrilling pace during the post-season testing in December.
They youngster’s commitment and talent also caught Ferrari’s eye as the Italian team signed him as member of the FDA.
F1technical’s Balazs Szabo interviewed Charles before the forthcoming season.
The youngster has set clear goals for the new season in GP3.
“My goal for this year is to win the championship”
However, he is aware of the immense task which awaits him in this competitive world. He hopes his team can help him a lot to get up to speed quickly.
“It is a really competitive championship this year so it is going to be really hard but I have an amazing team and we will give our best to bring the title home!”
“It is really important to me. They help me with loads of things.”
As for what he expects from the membership of the FDA, he answered: “I'm really grateful to be part of this academy, really happy that they believe in me and that they want to help me grow as a driver.”
Charles disclosed that he has done hard physical training to get into good shape.
“Well, I've done loads of sport, and I've been training hard with the Ferrari Drivers Academy especially, we did two stages in altitude which were perfect to prepare well the season.”
The physical fitness will be much more important this year as the GP3 cars deliver significantly more power then the F3 cars which will be the main challenge and difference to his previous environment.
“The main one, I would say the engine because it has 2 times more horse power than an F3 car.”
Despite the fact that Charles will have lots of things to learn throughout the season, most of the tracks will be familiar to him.
“Malaysia, a part from this one, I've been to all of them! The best way for me to prepare to Malaysia will definitly be the simulator!”