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How an Innocent Lie to His Father Made Charles Leclerc the Ferrari Superstar He Is Today

Tanish Chachra

How an Innocent Lie to His Father Made Charles Leclerc the Ferrari Superstar He Is Today

One of the most popular drivers on the grid, Charles Leclerc’s love for racing kickstarted with one innocent lie to his father, Herve Leclerc. In a recent episode of the Jay Shetty Podcast, the Ferrari driver reveals how it ultimately launched his F1 journey.

Leclerc recalls how when he was just three years old, he told his father he was sick just so that he could miss school. The Monegasque’s father believed him. And that day, he took him to Jules Bianchi’s father, Philippe Bianchi’s race track.

Leclerc saw karting for the first time that day and got attracted to it. He asked whether he could drive them, and since they didn’t have ones for kids of his age, he drove Jules’ old kart, which was customized for the late F1 driver when he was of a similar age.

“I tried for the first time there,” said Leclerc. “I remember the first lap they attached the rope to my kart. And there was an adult driving in front of me just to make sure I could turn. After the first lap, they took off the rope and I went on till no fuel left.”

Leclerc reveals that he enjoyed the feeling of being in control of a kart. “I loved the adrenaline that it gave me.” The 26-year-old further states that he doesn’t remember much more of that day. But it was the moment when his journey to the pinnacle of motorsports started, and Herve Leclerc supported him throughout.

The day Charles Leclerc lied to his father once again

In 2017, Leclerc was in F2 and was cruising towards winning the Championship. Reaching F1 the very next year seemed inevitable. But at the same time, Herve Leclerc was suffering from cancer and didn’t have a lot of time.

Fearing his father would not live long to see him reach F1, Leclerc lied to him that he had signed an F1 contract. He wanted to see his father achieve his dream of watching his son make it to F1. Which he eventually did.

A few months later, Leclerc officially signed for Sauber for the 2018 season and had a spectacular year. It forced Ferrari to get him to Maranello in 2019 and since then, he has been a prized asset for the team.

Recently, he fulfilled another dream of his, winning the 2024 Monaco GP. And on his way to victory, he admitted that he kept thinking about his father Herve, and all he did for him.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Tanish Chachra

Tanish Chachra


Tanish Chachra is the Motorsport editor at The SportsRush. He saw his first race when F1 visited India in 2011, and since then, his romance with the sport has been seasonal until he took up this role in 2020. Reigniting F1's coverage on this site, Tanish has fallen in love with the sport all over again. He loves Kimi Raikkonen and sees a future world champion in Oscar Piastri. Away from us, he loves to snuggle inside his books.

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