Charles Leclerc recalls heart-wrenching moment before being told of Ferrari move

Charles Leclerc disclosed the circumstances surrounding the revelation of his impending role as a Ferrari driver, and it unfolded through a prank. A graduate of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Charles Leclerc made a significant impression in his rookie year at Sauber in 2018 after clinching the Formula 2 title, positioning himself as a potential replacement for Kimi Raikkonen in the subsequent season.

Upon receiving a call from then-team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, Charles Leclerc initially heard that he didn’t secure the seat, only to receive a prompt callback confirming his status as a Ferrari driver.

In the initial races, Charles Leclerc swiftly outpaced teammate Marcus Ericsson at Sauber, garnering attention from Ferrari with five points finishes in six races in midfield machinery. This included a notable P6 finish in Baku, achieved in only his fourth Formula 1 race.

As the decision regarding Kimi Raikkonen’s future loomed in September of that year, Charles Leclerc anxiously awaited the outcome, only to experience a fleeting, albeit cruel, prank before finally receiving the positive news.

Upon his promotion, Leclerc quickly demonstrated his prowess, proving to be a formidable counterpart to Sebastian Vettel in the other car. This stellar performance earned him a remarkable five-year contract extension – the lengthiest ever awarded to a driver in Ferrari’s history. Noteworthy victories at Spa and Monza highlighted his debut season with the Scuderia.

Despite facing challenges such as underperforming machinery, strategic decisions, and occasional driver errors, Leclerc maintains his status as one of the most esteemed drivers on the grid. Ongoing discussions regarding a new contract between Charles Leclerc and Ferrari are reportedly underway, as both his and Carlos Sainz’s current contracts are set to expire at the end of 2024.

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