Ferrari’s rising star, Charles Leclerc, is not just a talented Formula 1 driver; he is also a son who cherished the unwavering support and guidance of his father, Herve Leclerc. Charles, born in 1997 to Herve and Pascale Leclerc, has always been open about the pivotal role his father played in shaping his early motorsport career.
The Racing Roots of Herve Leclerc
Herve Leclerc, a passionate motorsport enthusiast, harbored a profound dream for his son: to see him become a Formula 1 driver and eventually a world champion. Tragically, Herve’s life was cut short in 2017 due to a long-term illness. Charles Leclerc, merely four days after his father’s passing, achieved a remarkable victory at the 2017 Baku Formula 2 round. It was a poignant moment that showcased the resilience and determination instilled in him by his father.
Herve Leclerc’s connection with motorsport ran deep. He himself was involved in European Formula 3 championships during the 1980s and 1990s, a testament to his passion for racing. The culmination of his racing career came at the 1983 Nogaro Grand Prix, marking the end of an era. Herve Leclerc was born on March 7, 1963, and his untimely demise on June 20, 2017, at the age of 54, left a void in the motorsport world and in his son’s heart.
A Father’s Influence on Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc fondly remembers his father as the person who introduced him to the world of motor racing. Without his father’s unwavering support and guidance, Charles acknowledges that his journey to Formula 1 would have been an uphill battle. Despite the stereotype of Monegasque wealth, Charles emphasized that his family was not particularly affluent. Instead, it was his grandparents who, in slightly better financial circumstances, provided crucial assistance during his junior racing career.
In a heartwarming anecdote, Charles Leclerc revealed that as a child, he feigned illness to escape school and convinced his father to take him karting instead. During that karting session, Charles ran until he exhausted his fuel, a symbolic testament to his passion for racing. It was at that moment that he declared his unwavering desire to pursue motorsport. Charles also disclosed that his father, Herve, was happiest when he saw his son on the top step of the podium. This drove Charles to push his limits and strive for victory to witness the joy in his father’s eyes.
The Supportive Presence of Pascale Leclerc
While not much is known about Charles Leclerc’s mother, Pascale Leclerc, several sources have reported that she works as a hairdresser. She has been spotted at racetracks, a silent but powerful presence, offering support and encouragement to her son as he pursues his racing dreams.
In the midst of Herve Leclerc’s battle with illness in June 2017, Charles faced a poignant moment. He knew that his father’s time was limited. At that time, Charles was embarking on his rookie season in Formula 2 and was also part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. In a heartfelt gesture, he told his father a white lie, a dream he aspired to make a reality. Charles informed his father that he had secured a contract with a Formula 1 team for the 2018 season.
However, in reality, Charles had not signed any such contract in June 2017. It was a promise he intended to fulfill in honor of his father. Later that year, in December, Charles Leclerc signed a significant deal with Alfa Romeo Sauber for the 2018 Formula 1 season. It was a bittersweet moment, realizing the dream that he had shared with his father.