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Leclerc: Bianchi's death motivated me to 'make him proud'

  • Published on 24 Jul 2019 14:40
  • comments 1
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc says that the death of his good friend and godfather Jules Bianchi didn't deter him away from Formula 1 and racing.

In July of 2015, Bianchi passed away from injuries sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, when he crashed during an extremely wet race. 

Less than three years after Bianchi's death, Leclerc made his debut in F1 with Sauber, before receiving a promotion to Ferrari for the 2019 season.

Leclerc, who also lost his father while competing in his championship-winning Formula 2 campaign, says there were no doubts cast over his willingness to race after Bianchi's passing.

"There was definitely no thoughts any time to stop my career because of that," he told BBC Sport. "From the beginning when you go into this sport, you know how dangerous it is. It will never be a safe sport.

"Of course, the cars are getting safer and safer but, when you are going at 340km/h, it can never be safe. This I knew from the start. And I just wanted then to be good for him because he had taught me many things.

"He had always pushed me forward and helped me to get better, and the only thought I had when this happened was just to do good for him to make him proud."

'Great challenge' trying to beat Vettel

Partnered by a four-time world champion in 2019, Leclerc seemingly struggled against Sebastian Vettel during most of the opening races of the season.

However, he has managed to out-qualify Vettel at the last three races, following a change to the way he approaches the weekend.

"It was always going to be a very interesting challenge for me," Leclerc stated. "I am at the beginning of my career.

"He is a very experienced driver and to have him by my side is very important because I can definitely grow a lot and learn a lot things from him, which I did from the beginning of the season.

"But it is also a great challenge for me to try to beat him, and that's what I am here for. I always want to be the fastest on track and I always try to give absolutely everything to be in front."

Replies (1)

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  • "Leclerc seemingly struggled against Sebastian Vettel during most of the opening races of the season." Hm, I must've watched airings from another dimension then, as far as I recall he did well enough in the opening races too.

    • + 0
    • Jul 24 2019 - 15:32

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