Charles Leclerc angers family of F1 legend

Ex-Formula 1 driver Gilles Villeneuve sadly died in 1992.

The family of Formula 1 legend Gilles Villeneuve have granted Charles Leclerc permission to wear a commemorative helmet in honour of the Canadian, at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Ferrari and Leclerc introduced a specially designed helmet for this weekend’s action, which replicated the lid that the late F1 legend wore.

Villeneuve sadly died in 1992, with the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve having been named after him to remember the driver.

Despite having revealed the special helmet ahead of Friday’s action, Leclerc wore his usual helmet during Free Practice, much to the confusion of his fans.

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It was later revealed by veteran F1 reporter Ted Kravitz that Villeneuve’s family “were unhappy” with the helmet, and that they wanted to have been consulted more ahead of its reveal.

“At the beginning of the weekend Ferrari put out a social media post about how Gilles Villeneuve will be honoured by Charles Leclerc,” Kravitz reported on Sky Sports F1.

“Wearing a sort-of hybrid design in Leclerc’s helmet.

“We understand that the Villeneuve family and Jacques Villeneuve were unhappy.

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“I think with the appearance of the Ferrari logos on there – the sponsor logos.

“And they felt that there could have been a bit more consultation.

“Ferrari’s response and Charles Leclerc’s response? 

“They said: ‘This is absolutely meant to be a good-faith tribute, the intention was never to be where we are using Gilles Villeneuve’s helmet and the design to advertise our sponsors’.

“They were very apologetic if the Villeneuve family was upset.

The situation has since been sorted, with Leclerc having been granted permission to wear the special helmet.

He would’ve liked to have worn it for longer on Saturday during qualifying, as the Monegasque failed to make it to Q3 for a second consecutive Grand Prix.

Leclerc was eliminated in Q2 following another communication error by Ferrari, who completely ignored the 25-year-old’s request for Soft tyres.

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The Ferrari driver asked the team to be put on the Soft compound, with the circuit in Q2 having no longer required the Intermediates.

Ferrari denied the request and asked Leclerc to set a banker lap on the mixed weather tyre, which ultimately cost him a place in Q3.

When Leclerc was eventually put on the Soft compound, he was unable to fully heat them up as the wet weather returned at the end of Q2, meaning he failed to set a quick enough lap time to make the top 10.