Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in

The Ferrari omen that has Leclerc on track to become an F1 champion

Charles Leclerc will head into the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix leading the F1 World Championship for the first time in his career.

Charles Leclerc could not have asked for a better start to the 2022 season than crossing the line, followed by his teammate, to convert pole position into a race win in Bahrain. The 24-year-old heads into next weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as the first-ever Monegasque driver to lead the F1 World Championship, and the first Ferrari driver to win the opening round since 2018. It was redemption day for Leclerc, who saw a certain victory snatched from him in Sakhir three years ago when his car suffered late reliability issues to hand the race win to Lewis Hamilton. This time it was Red Bull that experienced misfortune, with both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen forced to retire during the closing stages, ending their hopes of podium finishes. In doing so, they allowed Leclerc to cruise to the chequered flag and claim the race's fastest lap in the process – ensuring a maximum points haul.

Ferrari omen promises great prizes for Leclerc

Leclerc has become only the fifth driver in Ferrari history to take pole position, the fastest lap and the victory at the first event of a new F1 season. Alberto Ascari was the first driver to do so, all the way back in 1953, before Juan Manuel Fangio repeated the trick three years later in a victory that he shared with teammate Luigi Musso. Michael Schumacher was next to start the season in dream fashion behind the wheel of a Ferrari in 2001, and he did the very same in 2004 during his period of F1 dominance. Kimi Raikkonen became the fifth in 2007, picking up points that would prove vital in his season-long battle with McLaren duo Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. And in each of those seasons, Ferrari's opening-race winners would go on to win the F1 World Drivers' Championship.

Leclerc's perfect start to F1 2022 "feels amazing"

Leclerc will arrive in Saudi Arabia leading the way in the Drivers' Championship and, perhaps more importantly, boasting a 26-point lead over the man tipped to be his closest title rival, Verstappen. "It's the perfect start to the season," Leclerc said, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "I'm incredibly happy after the last two years that have been very difficult for the team, for myself, and obviously for Carlos [Sainz] also last year. "We had to work extremely hard to finally prove that all the work that we've done in the past two years is paying off – it feels amazing."

HOW TO WATCH 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours