Formula 1: The one word that ticks off Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by HAMAD I MOHAMMED/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Formula 1 (Photo by HAMAD I MOHAMMED/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc admitted that there is one word from critics that ticks him off more than others, simply because it’s not true.

Charles Leclerc has competed in Formula 1 since the 2018 season when he drove for Alfa Romeo Sauber as a 20-year-old.

After just one season with the team, which saw him handily defeat teammate Marcus Ericsson, the Ferrari junior was promoted to the factory Ferrari organization as the replacement for 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

In both of his first two seasons with the historic Italian team, Leclerc handily defeated Vettel as well, winning two races and finishing in fourth place in the 2019 driver standings and impressively driving a tractor of a Ferrari SF1000 to two podium finishes and an eighth place finish in the 2020 standings.

As his career has progressed, there is a public perception of the 23-year-old Monegasque which has changed.

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According to him, that perception simply isn’t true and is based on nothing other than the fact that he has found success in Formula 1 over the last few years, namely since he joined the sport’s most storied franchise.

In fact, there is one word about that perception that ticks him off more than any other criticism he has faced as he has ascended to the top level of the sport, and it irritates him even more that more and more people buy into it the more successful he becomes.

That one word is “arrogance”.

Over the offseason, Leclerc maintained that he has not changed at all throughout his career in that respect. Here is what he told Sky Italia about the matter.

"“One [criticism] that touches me more than others is arrogance because I know very well that I haven’t changed. The further I go in my career, the more I see that people want to be my friend, certainly not because they like me as a person but because I am a Ferrari driver. So I close myself a little but that’s not arrogance, I haven’t changed from that point of view.“Both my father and Jules [Bianchi] always told me to keep my feet on the ground. Everything in my career has gone pretty fast and in the right direction, but I’ve always kept that advice in mind. That’s why the word [arrogance] bothers me more than the others.”"

Leclerc is set to enter his fourth season of Formula 1 season and third with Ferrari in 2021, and he is set to have a new teammate, as Carlos Sainz Jr. has left McLaren to replace Vettel at the Scuderia in 2021.

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The season is scheduled to get underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday, March 28 since the scheduled season opener, the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, was postponed from this past Sunday, March 21 to Sunday, November 21 as a result of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions in Melbourne, Australia.