Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc once credited Jules Bianchi for rescuing his racing career from quitting

Charles Leclerc, widely recognized for his charisma and impressive driving skills, stands out as one of the few drivers who have come remarkably close to challenging the formidable Max Verstappen on the Formula One grid.

Behind Leclerc’s current status, there is an important acknowledgement of the late Jules Bianchi’s pivotal role in shaping his career. The Monegasque driver, in recent expressions of gratitude, has highlighted the impact Bianchi had on his development as a driver.

Leclerc’s gratitude to Jules Bianchi

Charles Leclerc’s connection with the late F1 driver Jules Bianchi runs quite deep, as their relationship had an inexplicable strength of bond and understanding. The 26-year-old has consistently spoken about the pivotal role Bianchi played in shaping his career, not only as a godfather but also as his mentor and role model. He also dedicates a significant part of his development to the lessons he learned from Bianchi during his younger years.

Beyond inspiration, Leclerc revealed a critical part of his junior racing years when his career was potentially in threat due to the lack of substantial funds from his father needed for a driver’s career. At that moment, in a heartening gesture, Bianchi stepped in and played an important role in providing for the necessary funding.

During this time, Bianchi engaged with Nicholas Todt, the son of the former FIA President, Jean Todt, to sponsor Leclerc’s junior career. Though initially driven by a desire to please Bianchi, Nicholas’s support extended beyond expectations.

Leclerc said, “He called Nicolas Todt in mid-2011, saying if I don’t have extra help at the end of the year, I’d have to stop my career.”

Nicholas not only agreed to help but also continued to fund Leclerc until he reached the pinnacle of his career. This support played a crucial role in helping Leclerc develop his skills and eventually achieve remarkable success in various junior racing categories.

How did Jules Bianchi die?

Jules Bianchi passed away on July 17, 2015, at the age of 25, which marked a truly saddening event in the world of motorsports. The tragedy unfolded as a result of injuries sustained during his incident at the 2014 Grand Prix on the Suzuka circuit, which occurred nine months prior to his passing.

This heartbreaking event made Bianchi the first Formula One driver to lose his life due to injuries sustained in a Grand Prix since the tragic incident involving Ayrton Senna in 1994. The loss of a young and promising talent like Jules serves as a reminder of the dangers inherent in the pursuit of excellence on the Formula One circuit.

Do you think Leclerc will be able to finally defeat Verstappen in 2024? Tell us in the comment section below!


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