After winning the Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc looks set for a hero’s welcome from the tifosi at Monza after ending their wait for a win this season. And the Monegasque driver admits he can’t wait for his first race in Italy wearing red.
Of course, this won’t be Leclerc’s first visit to Monza, having raced there for Sauber (now Alfa Romeo) in his debut Formula 1 season. The newly-minted third-youngest winner in F1 history says that was special – but this year should be even better.
“Last year, coming to Monza was probably one of the best experiences of my life,” said Leclerc. “The support I had, even though I was not a Ferrari driver, was unbelievable.
“So I can’t imagine now. Obviously, I just won my first race in Formula 1, so I’m pretty sure the welcome will be as great as it was last year but probably even more now, firstly driving for Ferrari and especially because I had my first win in Formula 1. So I’m really looking forward to arriving in Italy.”
So, another emotional weekend coming up for the 21-year-old, who had to deal with the raw emotions of the loss of his friend and fellow racer Anthoine Hubert ahead of winning in Belgium. But then mental strength seems to be something of a Leclerc trademark.
After winning in Spa, Leclerc described how he compartmentalized the tragic events of Saturday – just as he did when his father Herve died ahead of the Baku F2 race in 2017, which he also won.
Ferrari will need to see how they can help the two drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc on strategy and management of their tires when in Italy this weekend.
Vettel who started the race right behind Charles found himself having to be the one to defend the young driver from the raging Lewis Hamilton as he was suffering with bad tires.
Can Ferrari manage another shock this weekend in their own backyard? We will all be waiting to see how that pens out.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!