The 2019 French Grand Prix would only be the second occasion where Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will drive at Le Castellet. Last year, in a Sauber (currently rechristened as Alfa Romeo), the inexperienced Charles Leclerc drove a pretty commanding race.
For starters, he would classify eighth on the grid, a truly brave effort as teammate Marcus Ericsson managed only a lowly fifteenth and would later manage the only points for his side, finishing with a P10.
But that was last year. Even as his car was powered by a Ferrari engine, Charles Leclerc was still competing with a machine no better than something that would’ve afforded him a strong midfield stack. This year, however, Charles returns to the scene of one of his important race finishes.
And what’s more? Apart from being more experienced (and more driven than before), arguably thanks to a stellar drive at Bahrain, earlier this year, Charles Leclerc arrives at France, competing in a Ferrari.
This should raise his confidence a great deal apart from the fact that his most recent result in Formula 1, courtesy his excellent drive at Gilles Villeneuve-land, where he garnered a fighting third at Montreal.
Should Charles bring some of that Canada form- a contes that earned Ferrari their first 2-3 finish of the year- it would augur well for Ferrari, who seem to have lifted their performance somewhat where the past few races stand.
To that end, it was interesting to see what the enthusiastic and focused Monegasque driver had to say before hitting the track this weekend. He spoke pithily about the track; it’s challenges and the excitement that racing there brings to his 21-year-old self:
“France – it’s a pretty new track to me, strangely, as it is very close to my home. I have some great memories from last year’s event which was the first time that I was there. It was also the first time that I made it to Q3 in Formula 1, which is something that I will never forget.
“The track is quite atypical, with huge run-off areas. You can really push the limits in free practice without taking actual risks because the walls are quite far away. I really enjoy driving at Le Castellet and look forward to being back there.”