The F2 champion submits to our probing questions
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Charles Leclerc: Racing on a circuit with a beach quite near.
What is your greatest fear?
Charles: Snakes! They’re scary!
Which person do you most admire?
Charles: My father. For many people the father is somebody who inspires you: he was a bit of an example for me since I was a child, and he went racing and taught me many things, so that’s probably the reason.
What is your current state of mind?
Charles: Very happy! I won the championship with a race to go, we’re in Abu Dhabi and it’s a great place for a holiday! [laughs] It’s also a good place to race, and you can arrive with a bit less stress with the title in the pocket, so it feels good.
When do you lie?
Charles: I really rarely lie: I hate lying. Probably when my trainer asks what I ate for dinner! [laughs]
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Charles: My hair: it’s always such a mess to get it right!
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Charles: In a man I don’t really care! [laughs] My friends are mostly funny, so I’ll say funny: I like to laugh.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Charles: I think it’s a mix between her looks and what she is inside.
When and where were you happiest?
Charles: Probably any time I’m on track and it goes well: Jerez was one of those moments, last year in Abu Dhabi as well. When you win a championship it feels amazing: you put a lot of dedication to win the title, and when you win a title there is so much happiness all around you as well, because obviously the team is very happy as well. It can sometimes be very short, but as short as it can be, it’s very intense happiness.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Charles: Playing football: I’m so bad at it! I’m actually quite good on the kick ups, on the technical side I’m quite fine, but any time I need to shoot in the goal it doesn’t go well…
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Charles: I don’t know! It’s a question I’ve never really asked myself, and you can’t really change yourself. I’m definitely not perfect, and any time I see something in myself I don’t like I change it, but at the moment…
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Charles: I guess winning Formula 2. Every year you go a step up in your career, when it goes well anyway, so the last championship I have won is Formula 2, so I would say that.
Where would you most like to live?
Charles: I am so happy with my city: Monaco is an amazing city. Probably the only 2 other places that I really enjoy going are here in Abu Dhabi, and I went this year for the first time to Los Angeles and it was an amazing experience: I loved it. I probably don’t see myself living either here or in LA: I have everyone in Monaco, it is a small town where everyone knows everyone else, so Monaco.
What is your most treasured possession?
Charles: My Fiat 500! It’s from 1969, and it’s just a great car! [laughs] It’s so much fun, and it’s not so quick but it’s very fun to drive, and actually people look at you more than when you are in a supercar or something like that! It’s always very fun to go in it.
What is your favourite occupation?
Charles: It would be strange to not answer a driver!
What virtue do you most value in your friends?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Charles: Harry Potter: I’ve always been a fan when I was younger, and it has stayed with me! Okay, now a bit less, but if I have to pick one I will chose him because he is the one I followed: the movies I didn’t really like, but I was a huge fan when I was younger. And actually, many people say I look very much like him! [laughs]
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Charles: That is very difficult to answer! I don’t know.
What is it that you most dislike?
Charles: Arrogance! It just makes me angry, to see an arrogant person: I think there are no reasons to be arrogant. And I have been racing for 15 years: I know many people! [laughs]
What is your greatest regret?
Charles: Probably to have not enjoyed the times with my father enough while he was here.
What is your motto?
Charles: I have one, but I can’t remember! [laughs] It’s something like with no dedication you won’t have the results you want: I can’t remember it in English…