An interesting anecdote from a promotional video by Shell doing the rounds in the usual January barren period of minimal Formula 1 news, is a story of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who was apparently banned from entering the Ferrari factory in Maranello in Italy. Ferrari was part of the Monegasque’s dreams as a young karting driver with ambitions to one day race in F1 so naturally keen to try and gain entry.
When Jules Bianchi, then at the Ferrari Diving Academy, suggested that he accompany him and could get him in, the teenager was more than happy to oblige.
Sadly, Charles was denied entry to Ferrari’s Maranello factory, a rebuke that added to his motivation to drive for the Scuderia.
Barred from entering Ferrari
It was a huge disappointment for the budding young champion, but one that ultimately fed his burning desire to one day race for Ferrari.
“The first time I came here, I couldn’t get into Scuderia Ferrari because I was maybe 12 years old,” he recalled in a video sponsored by Shell.
“With my godfather Jules Bianchi, who was a Ferrari Driver Academy driver at the time, I asked him, ‘Please, can I come with you? He asked the security at the entrance and they said no, we’re sorry, we can’t accept people from outside.”
“From that moment on, and even before that, I always wanted to be a Ferrari driver.” claims Leclerc,
“Walking in front of those doors and not being able to see everything that was inside, I think it gave me even more motivation to work as hard as ever to get here one day.”
Leclerc’s efforts were rewarded with his promotion to F1 with Alfa Romeo in 2016, backed by Ferrari, before joining the Scuderia the following year.
With five Grand Prix victories to their credit, the Monaco driver is determined to keep on winning with the Maranello-based team.