Charles Leclerc believes his friend and karting mentor Jules Bianchi deserved his seat at Ferrari. The 22-year-old driver rose through karting's ranks with great support of Bianchi who was 8 years older. At the time Leclerc made the switch from karting to cars, Bianchi had just reached Formula 1. As member of Ferrari's Driver Academy he got a chance at Marussia. A huge crash during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix left the talented French driver with severe head injuries. Nine months later Bianchi died because of his injuries.
"The father of Jules and my father always joked that we had very similar careers", Leclerc said, speaking to the media. "And strangely when he was racing and I was racing, every time there was a weekend he had a very bad race, the same weekend I had a very bad race too. They were always joking about this. With our careers, obviously they are quite similar because with also Nicolas Todt, my manager, he took more or less the same road for both of us."
Last week Daniel Ricciardo said he thinks Leclerc is the example of what Bianchi could have achieved in Formula 1. Leclerc: "I’m pretty sure Jules had shown what he had to show in Formula 1. There was definitely a lot more to come. I think results like in Monaco when he was in Marussia was telling a lot about his talent. So he definitely deserved the F1 seat, probably the Ferrari seat even more than I did. But things decided others for him unfortunately. I’m pretty sure he would have shown probably even more than what I do. He was extremely talented."