Arthur Leclerc will make the jump into Formula 3 this season as he looks to make a name for himself – and break away from his older brother’s image.
The 19-year-old Prema Racing driver is the younger brother of F1’s Charles Leclerc, and eyes will be on him because of his last name.
However, much like Mick Schumacher’s experience, the pressure isn’t on the younger Leclerc brother because of his family name but is based on his previous record, and the investment the Ferrari Driver Academy is now putting into him.
Leclerc’s Formula career has never seen him finish a season outside of the top five, getting better results with each new season. His experience in the 2018 French Formula 4 Championship resulted in two wins and eight podiums to finish fifth overall for the season.
He backed that up in 2019 in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship with one win and eight podiums, resulting in his placing third overall for the year. Following the 2019 season, Leclerc joined the Ferrari Driver Academy and the Prema Racing team following in his brother’s footsteps.
The 2020 Formula Regional European Championship saw Leclerc behind the wheel of a Formula 3 vehicle. Where he continued to produce strong performances racking up more career wins than previous years. With six wins and 15 podiums from 23 starts, Leclerc’s first season in a Formula 3 vehicle proved to be successful and he finished the season second overall behind teammate Gianluca Petecof.
Following the confirmation of Leclerc moving up into the FIA Formula 3 Championship, team principal Rene Rosin expressed how pleased he’d been with Leclerc’s record so far.
“I am delighted to welcome Arthur to our FIA Formula 3 operation,” he said.
“He experienced a high-quality season in 2020, ending up with more wins than anybody else in the Regional championship. His skills come with a dedicated approach to the hard work behind the scenes, which is clearly what we are looking for at this level. We can’t wait to start preparing for the season ahead!”
In expressing his excitement for the move to F3 Arthur Leclerc also mentioned the special relationship between himself and Prema Racing.
“I am really happy to announce that I will step up to FIA F3 with Prema Racing next year. I have quite a bit of experience with the team as it will be my second year with them and we established a special relationship. It will be a completely new challenge for me, a lot more drivers on the grid, and a weekend format that looks really exciting! I can’t wait to start the season.”
With fewer races to contest and a larger field in 2021, the pressure will be on Leclerc to perform.
He’s historically had strong starts in previous seasons, all of his wins have been in the first half of their respective seasons, coupled with a successful year in an F3 vehicle, Leclerc has the ingredients to improve upon his record even further and claim his first championship title. An achievement Ferrari and Prema racing will undoubtedly be pleased to see.