How Charles Leclerc's Journey to Ferrari’s No 1 Driver Began with Simple Lie to His Father; Find Out

Charles Leclerc's emotional Monaco victory honored his father's legacy. Read how a little white lie started a racing journey that led up to an unforgettable win.

Published on May 28, 2024  |  02:23 PM IST |  65.4K
@charles_leclerc/ Instagram
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Key Highlight
  • The final lie and a father's legacy
  • The emotional Monaco victory
  • Finally fulfilling the Monaco dream

Charles Leclerc, now one of the most popular drivers on the Formula 1 grid, began his journey to stardom with an innocent lie to his father, Hervé Leclerc. As a child, Charles pretended to be sick to skip school. Believing his son, Hervé took him to Philippe Bianchi's racetrack, a pivotal moment in young Charles' life. 

@charles_leclerc/ Instagram

Here, the three-year-old was introduced to karting, a sight that captivated him instantly. Despite his age, he got to drive Jules Bianchi's old customized kart. This experience was the catalyst for Charles' racing dreams, setting him on a path that would lead to Formula 1 glory.

The final lie and a father's legacy


In 2017, while Charles was on the brink of winning the F2 Championship, his father was battling cancer. Fearing his father wouldn't live to see him reach Formula 1, Charles lied, telling Hervé that he had already signed an F1 contract. This white lie gave his father immense joy and hope. 

Hervé passed away shortly after, never witnessing his son's ascent to F1. Charles eventually signed with Sauber for the 2018 season and later joined Ferrari, fulfilling a part of the dream he shared with his father.

The emotional Monaco victory

Leclerc's journey came full circle at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. Leading from pole position and controlling the race despite challenges, he was on the verge of victory with two laps to go. As he navigated the streets he grew up on, memories of his father and their shared dream flooded his mind. 

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Overcoming past heartbreaks at his home race, Leclerc was determined not to let this chance slip away. The emotional weight of the moment was immense, but he managed to stay focused and secure the win.

In those final laps, Charles thought of his father, who had always been his biggest supporter. Hervé's sacrifices and unwavering belief in his son's talent were at the forefront of Leclerc's mind. 


"In every race I have done, there has not been one single race where I was thinking about this kind of personal stuff inside the car," Leclerc said, reflecting on the emotional experience. The victory was not just for him, but also for his family and his late father.

Finally fulfilling the Monaco dream

Crossing the finish line, Leclerc's emotions overflowed. His race engineer's cry of "Finally!" echoed the culmination of years of effort and heartbreak. Leclerc celebrated in multiple languages, his joy and relief palpable. 

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For Charles Leclerc, the Monaco Grand Prix was not just a race. “I feel like I didn’t only accomplish a dream of mine today, but also one of his,” said Leclerc after the home win. It was about fulfilling the dream he shared with his father.


The Monaco curse

Charles Leclerc's initial attempts at victory in his home Grand Prix in Monaco were marred by misfortune. His struggles began in his Formula 2 days with retirement in 2017 and continued in Formula 1 with Ferrari. 

Brake failure in 2018, a strategy error in 2019, and subsequent mishaps in 2021 and 2022 kept him from securing a win at the iconic track. 

“I never believed in the curse,” Leclerc said after the race, adding, “However, it always felt very difficult on the two occasions I had to win here.” 

Each year, as he returned to Monaco, the pressure mounted, with fans and media questioning whether he could finally break the 'curse' and win at home.

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ALSO READ: What Is Charles Leclerc’s Monaco GP Curse? Find Out

Meanwhile, winning in Monaco, the place where his love for racing was born, was a tribute to Hervé Leclerc and everything he had done for his son. 

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About The Author

Ananya Kesh is a journalism student with a burning passion for the world of sports. Writing allows her

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