‘It’s very different to being behind the wheel’: Charles Leclerc on his activities outside of Formula 1
The program was in place: questions about everything, except sports! Wrestling a few minutes from Charles Leclerc in the middle of Grand Prix week to talk about the man behind the driver, his projects and his ambitions beyond cars is not easy. Even more so in the Leadership where the Monegasque, the national pride, runs at home. And must answer the multitude of requests that increase his preparation for the competition.
If every minute counts, all ten minutes were devoted to interviews outside the circuit. Six hundred seconds were quickly cut off on the part of the journalist but precious time, calm, in the diary of a fast boy, accustomed to bursts of speed in his one chair.
Good point, Charles Leclerc arrives on time during the meeting set on the yacht of the Prette family, which makes it available to mark the union of their brand, APM Monaco, with the pilot who has become their muse. For this collaboration, Charles has voluntarily committed himself to a promotional film in which he is the hero, which must have been shot in Monaco.
The prototype Leclerc is not in his first attempt. He has already photographed for his sponsor, watchmaker Richard Mille. Or for designer Giorgio Armani in 2020.
At the age of 25, he is already an “ex-traveler” of the circuit, studied since childhood, he has the attractive appearance and appearance to gain beauty, his fame gained in F1. And be a brand ambassador. Do you even consider making your own label? He thinks of himself as a true lover of fashion, with a style perhaps a little less glamorous than Lewis Hamilton, but who pays attention to everything he wears.
And, when everyone shamelessly steps onto the floor of the APM yacht where the interview will take place, he takes off his sneakers – Alexander McQueen fashion obliges – before entering the boat. And he is the only one to do it. A detail perhaps, but which shows that the star of the Ferrari team has not taken a big head. From a nearby yacht, because Monaco is a village, a sunburned friend sees him and invites him to a party that evening. “When I have time I pass” Charles replies with a smile. Even if it expires. And it’s interview time. Ten minutes, high hour.
For several years now, you have been lending your body and image to various brands. Do you enjoy immersing yourself in this world: modeling, doing stunts, marching?
Without doubt! It’s very different from being behind the wheel, there’s less adrenaline, but it’s something I like. What I also look for is meaning in all the associations I accept. With APM Monaco, there was no more believable story than this.
Are you getting a lot of collaboration requests?
Yes yes, there are definite requirements… It is normal for exposure to Formula 1. And to be a Ferrari driver, even more so.
What do you have to do with fame and your looks?
I’ve seen evolution, that’s for sure. This has changed very quickly since 2018 when I arrived in Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo. A series of netflix it also helped a lot for our popularity around the world and especially in the United States. It’s great to have that experience, it shows that our game has sound. In terms of privacy, it requires more organization, it is not easier than before. For a few months, the video was leaked on the net with my address in Monaco. I had a few people ringing the doorbell or waiting under the building. After a message sent on Instagram asking to respect my privacy, it was no longer the case. Even if I was a little afraid, by posting it, that the message would make other people curious. I hope not!
Can’t find your address by searching online?
I don’t know… but hey, don’t look! [rires]
When an exclusive Monegasque jewelry brand launches a partnership with Monaco’s only Formula 1 driver, the partnership will spark fire.
For the 2022 Grand Prix event, APM Monaco entered into a partnership with Charles Leclerc. A year later, this contract signed for 24 months has started to be implemented and the driver has become the face of the brand’s new campaign.
A a new plan approved by a visual campaign shot in the corridors of the Paris Hotel and on the terraces of the palace, where the young man plays models. Monegasque beauty – 2.0 – in its entirety.
“It’s a partnership that makes a lot of sense. I was born in Monaco, APM is a Monegasque brand and it’s amazing to see its success”, pleads Charles Leclerc, explaining that the link was woven for the first time by Louis, the son of Philippe Prette, CEO of the brand, whom he has known for a few years.
“When we met, it took us very little time to reach an agreement, this kind of brand helps to make Monaco known internationally, there are not many brands that have managed to achieve that success, it is Monegasque, it makes the project more attractive”.
Upcoming jewelry designs?
Same story on the part of Kika Prette, who leads the creative process. “It made a lot of sense”, he gives his opinion to qualify this union. “We are proud to represent Her Majesty and when we thought about the museum, the name Charles came naturally.”
The experiment is now the face of a collection called “Special Edition”, which takes the main products of various signature creations to present a variety of unisex jewelry. The first step during a good wait? “We have not yet collaborated to create jewelry, insists Charles Leclerc, but I hope it will be so in the future”.
For a few years now, a line of karting products has carried your logo. What? Have you ever planned to develop your own brand in the world of fashion?
I have a kart team, actually. And I had an idea some time ago to create a clothing brand. An idea that, unfortunately, did not succeed for different reasons, it is not always easy with Ferrari. At the moment, I am fully focused on my sports career. Then we will see. Fashion has always been my passion, so why not…
In 2020, you shot a short film in the streets of Monaco in front of Claude Lelouch’s camera; in 2022 you voiced the comic Toy Story. And if the movie gave you a role?
Again, why not even one day. But today, I don’t have time to go to the cinema, we have 23 Formula 1 races to ensure the time of the championship. We are not often at home. So, maybe later, when I have more free time.
After rounds, here is Charles Leclerc available for a few weeks on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music. The sportsman took to the music platforms to deliver two instrumental pieces on the piano, AUS23 And MIA23, which he composed and acted in. AUS for Australia, issued alongside the Melbourne Grand Prix and MIA, issued at the Miami Grand Prix event in Florida. On YouTube, the video has already been viewed almost a million times. And show another experimental part through its two compositions, where operatic piano mixes with melancholy. Two titles that approach the world of Ludovico Einaudi or Sofiane Pamart, masters of this field of pop star-style solo piano. A world where we did not expect Monegasque.
The piano was heard in your life when you were imprisoned and today you are the author of the topics published on the platforms. What draws you to music?
To be honest, I don’t consider myself a musician or an artist. I’ve been playing since the closure, actually. I bought this piano to pass the time. And I posted, from time to time, stories on Instagram with my pieces. I realized that there is interest in these videos. So, I thought it was right to record them in a more professional way and post them on the forums. It cost nothing, because I have all the materials at home! And if you like it, that’s great!
Composing on the piano, is it a way for you to express your feelings?
Yes and no. I love sad music… but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m sad all day!
And these published musings do not represent the race that I ran. Although unfortunately the beginning of the season that I had, you can. [sourire] The truth is this: I put myself at the piano, I play, I have fun and I record it. Since I didn’t know what to call these songs, I named them Grands Prix, so that we would know more or less when I launched them.
A sad mood emerges equally from these pieces…
It’s true, it’s the sad pieces that I like on the piano… but not necessarily the visual behind it. I do what pleases me and what comes out.
In the family, Hervé Leclerc was the first driver to experience the adrenaline of motor racing by driving in F3 in the 90s.
He disappeared in 2017, the father of Charles and Arthur “I would be very happy to see all of us participating in this 80th Grand Prix because he is the one who gave us the passion for racing”assure the pilots in a video published on social networks, where the two brothers pay special respect to the memory of their father for this Grand Prix.
They were actually inspired by the helmet that Hervé Leclerc wore in the races of the 90s to create their own on purpose for the Monegasque events this week.
Helmets with the same stripes but with different colors from the original: the two Leclerc brothers racing under the flag and colors of the Ferrari team.
“I like barbagiu people [rires] but apart from that, the values of Monaco, the respect that I learned growing up here. Everyone knows how proud I am to be Monegasque and to represent Leadership abroad.”