Leclerc: Bianchi deserved Ferrari seat more than me

Charles Leclerc says close friend Jules Bianchi probably deserved a Ferrari Formula 1 race seat more than him – and would have delivered better results than he has so far.

Leclerc: Bianchi deserved Ferrari seat more than me

Last week, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo listed Bianchi as one of his most underrated rivals, and suggested that the Frenchman would have been as big a star at Ferrari as Leclerc has become, were it not for his death as the result of injuries sustained in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

“It's another part of what makes his story so sad, because [Bianchi] would have been in a top team and a race winner by now for sure," Ricciardo wrote.

"In some ways, I feel Charles is doing now what Jules would have been doing. It's like Charles is the delayed version of what Jules would have done with the success he's having."

Leclerc and Bianchi were very close friends. Bianchi was Leclerc's godfather and served as his racing mentor, with the pair also both managed by Nicolas Todt.

Asked about Ricciardo’s comments, Leclerc agreed that Bianchi would have had a stellar career at Ferrari.

“Jules had shown what he had to show in F1, and there was definitely a lot more to come,” said Leclerc. “But I think results like [scoring points] in Monaco, when he was in Marussia, were telling a lot about his talent.

“So he definitely deserved the F1 seat, the Ferrari seat, probably even more than I did. But [fate] decided something other for him unfortunately. But I'm pretty sure he would have shown probably even more than what I do and yeah, he was extremely talented.”

Leclerc said that it had been noticeable throughout their careers, with their fathers good friends, how similar their rise to the top had been.

“I think our fathers, the father of Jules and my father, always joked that we had a very similar career,” he said. “And strangely also when he [Bianchi] was racing and I was racing, if he had a very bad race that weekend, the same weekend, I will have a very bad race too.

“They were always joking with this, and I think with our careers, obviously they are quite similar because also with Nicolas, my manager.”

shares
comments
Renowned former F1 designer Divila dies aged 74

Previous article

Renowned former F1 designer Divila dies aged 74

Next article

The hits and misses among Red Bull's 85 F1 proteges

The hits and misses among Red Bull's 85 F1 proteges
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021