Leclerc uses Bianchi inspiration in the bid for a F1 seat


Charles Leclerc - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari and Haas F1 test driver Charles Leclerc says he retained the lessons he was taught by the late Jules Bianchi as he aims for a career in Formula 1.

Leclerc impressed Haas during FP1 at the British Grand Prix before driving for Ferrari in the in-season test at Silverstone.Leclerc was close to Bianchi, who died last year after a devastating crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, with the Monegasque driver saying he is using the experience passed on by the Frenchman to help him impress for a potential future drive in Formula 1.

“I knew him from when I was really, really young,” Leclerc said. “He was my godfather and he helped me with most of things in racing. Obviously now it’s hard without him because he always helped me, and I miss his help.

“He advised me really well in the past, and all his comments he gave me in the past I keep them in mind and try not to make the errors he told me not to do.”

The GP3 Series Championship leader revealed that it was a special moment when he drove for Ferrari, even though he had already driven for Haas.

“Yeah, it’s special, and I’m only 18, so it’s even more special. When I was six years old I was always looking at the red car on the track, so it’s unbelievable to be here, and I’m really thankful.”

He continues to describe the contrasting program between the Haas and Ferrari, but Leclerc was pleased to gain valuable experience.

“It’s two different things. In FP1 that was mostly for the team because they had a weekend after and I had to work for them and do as many kilometres for them as possible.

“Today was a long day so we could plan it a bit better, but both have been amazing. It’s still be good to get experience in two different Formula 1 cars. The more cars I try, the different ways I see of working, the more experience I get. It’s always good to try some things.”