‘So much pressure’: Charles Leclerc opens up on getting his driver’s licence

Ferrari are second in the championship, a long way behind Red Bull.

Are Formula 1 drivers as good in a road car as they are in a single seater? They certainly cannot go as fast on the streets, but driving on circuits must surely help with their road skills.

Indeed, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were asked by the PitStop podcast how they got on during their driving test, and were posed the all-important question – did they pass first time?

“I did, and actually I had so much pressure, like crazy, because I was like ‘I’m a racing driver,’” said Leclerc.

“Did [the instructor] know, though?” asked Sainz.

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“Yes, he knew, but if I do a mistake then…” replied Leclerc.

“Why is there pressure then? If he knew, for sure he’s like ‘ah, it’s a Formula 1 driver,’” joked the Spaniard.

“Yeah but still, but I mean Monaco – it’s quite tricky,” explained the 24-year-old.

“[It was] in the middle of Monaco so it was very tricky, because you’ve got all the cars right, left, people crossing the roads.”

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“But you know the streets very well,” interjected Sainz.

“I do,” replied Leclerc.

Leclerc would go on to start his F1 career in 2018 with Alfa Romeo Sauber, before joining Ferrari after just one season to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who went the other way.

The Monegasque has since won five races with the Scuderia, three of them this season, but a series of unfortunate circumstances – including reliability failures and strategic mistakes – have seen him fall 109 points behind runaway championship leader Max Verstappen.

Sainz joined Ferrari from McLaren in 2021 having started his career in the pinnacle of motorsport with Toro Rosso.

READ: Is Ferrari cursing itself for 2022 Italian Grand Prix?

He partnered Verstappen at the Red Bull junior squad, with the Dutchman, at 17 years of age, passing his test during his debut campaign after taking an intensive course over the summer break.

The now 27-year-old exploits eventually carried him to Renault in the latter part of 2017, before he moved to McLaren at the start of the 2019 season to partner rookie Lando Norris.

Sainz grabbed his first-ever pole position and victory at this season’s British Grand Prix.