In an interview, Charles Leclair talked about working at Ferrari, his relationship with Sebastian Vettel and his younger brother Arthur, as well as his hobbies and plans for the future.
Charles Leclair: “The main thing is patience. Thanks to him, I took the biggest step in my career. Before, I wanted everything at once. I’ve only seen negative points. Gaining patience and encouraging yourself more are two pieces of advice I would give myself in my youth.
Nicolas Todt played an important role in my career. I remember how it was before he appeared. In 2010, I started the season in karting, knowing that it could be my last if I didn’t solve my financial problems. My father had no money to keep me racing. I had a hard time morally: I did what I liked, but I knew that soon it could all be over.
Nicholas has been helping me since 2011. Once we signed the contract, I got the confidence that my career will continue as long as I get results. It changed everything. Nicholas began to follow everything – looking for sponsors and doing logistics, and I was able to focus on piloting.
I don’t like politics – I don’t know much about it. I try to be who I am, whether people like it or not. I don’t like to insist on a relationship. I often find common language with people, but I do not force anyone and do not like to engage in politics.
When I came to Ferrari, I was very confused by the size of this team and its history. I fulfilled my dream, so I didn’t want to just come and say, “Okay, but I prefer to do it this way.” I knew that the team has a lot of experience, which means there are reasons why it works this way. At first I tried to adapt to the car and the way of working, and after five or six races began to talk about my preferences, what I need to feel more comfortable in some situations, and also helped the team to change a few things.
By the end of the year, I felt much better in the team – as if I were part of the family. When I came to the track, I already knew everyone and understood how they work. At the beginning of the year I had new engineers, but during the season we changed a lot, and at the end of the year I was fine with the situation and the way we worked together.
As for Vettel, at first everything was completely different from my other partners, because Sebastian is a multiple world champion. At first I was ashamed of both Ferrari and Sebastian, but that’s okay. In fact, he is an ordinary guy and a very nice person. We hit it off immediately. Of course, rivalry affects relationships, but it does not affect our communication. It’s good. There are difficult moments, as, for example, in Brazil, but it seems to me that we coped well with the situation and quite quickly forgot about that incident. “
Besides racing and cars, Leclair is passionate about fashion and hopes to launch his own brand someday.
“I really like the design of the clothes,” said the driver. – This is the very element of creativity that inspires me. I can draw, but I don’t think I can do it well enough to create my own collection of clothes. I have a clear idea of what I like, but it’s not so serious that I could create my own collection.
I exchanged a few words with Lewis about fashion – congratulated him on the release of the new collection. He works great with the brand and I love what he does. I would definitely like to do this in the future.
Clothes drawings help me unwind. At least I can think about something other than racing – in my opinion, it’s very good. I had such a problem before – I could not get distracted from the races. Fashion and music help me. I’m a creative person – and it helps me to switch.
I like music – it helps me to relax. I have been playing the piano since I was six, and at 15 or 16 I started learning to play the guitar. But only I can listen to my music. Perhaps my friend once listened to me playing – of course, she said that she liked it, but I did not believe her! I like to play for myself, not share it with others. Anyway, I don’t think I’m playing well enough, so it would be funny to share.
Also, I love diving. My qualifications allow me to dive to 40 meters, but that’s enough – you can’t see anything deeper anyway. Some of my friends are afraid to dive to this depth, because it’s pretty deep. But one of my best friends and I got permission, so we dive together when the opportunity arises in the summer. “
At the beginning of the year, Charles’s younger brother Arthur Leclair became a student at the Ferrari Racing Academy – just like Charles himself at one time.
“I try to help him in every possible way, but on the other hand, I want to leave him alone, – says the Ferrari driver. – I want him to know: I am always there when he needs my help. He knows this, but I don’t want to patronize him too much – it is important to be independent.
My father raised me like that, and while I was building my career, it helped me a lot. This is what I try to achieve in my relationship with my brother. In my opinion, we have found the right balance, he calls me whenever he needs. “