Last week’s blogpost focused on a racing driver and gentleman who reached quite an old age – more than 90 years. We all know: there is another side of the coin. Sometimes success and dark shadows are very close together.
The year 2015. For years, two friends had the same dream, the same goal: to become a Formula 1 driver. One of them, Jules Bianchi (3rd August 1989 – 17th July 2015) achieved this in 2013 and paid with his life; after his accident in the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Japan on October 2014, finally he did not awaken from the coma. The other one, Charles Leclerc, followed the course – also as a tribute to his friend and mentor Jules and in accordance with his attitude.
The year 2017. Another key person and supporter, Hervé Leclerc (7th March 1963 – 20th June 2017), was only 54 years old when he died; the decease of his father overshadowed again the life of the young Charles Leclerc. A few days after this sad incident, Charles reacted in his own way: he won the Formula 2 race in Azerbaijan. This would have complied his father’s will – and was also a tribute to him.
The year 2019. It was the weekend of the F1 Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, including the Formula 2 race. Charles Leclerc has reached his goal as Formula 1 driver, a friend and sports companion of him started in the Formula 2 race on Saturday; Anthoine Hubert (22nd September 1996 – 31st August 2019) was killed in an accident. The next day, Sunday, Charles Leclerc won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix; he reacted in his own way – and it was also a tribute to Anthoine.
Charles was the victor of the next Grand Prix (in Italy), too. On his helmet and steering wheel: RIP Tonio. All of this a week after Spa-Francorchamps, when he said, on this extreme weekend he lost a friend on Saturday and on Sunday a boyhood dream came true.
A young man’s career and his major successes, again and again dramatically overshadowed. Charles Leclerc, mentally consolidated, extremely focused, got stronger through all of this, was changed for his whole life.
See you next Friday. - God bless you, all the best! The Castiron
PS Source reference: MOTORSPORT aktuell Nr. 38 and 39 / 2019; www.motorsport-aktuell.de and https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/19/charles-leclerc-ferrari-lost-father-early-changes-forever
PPS Requiescat in pace – RIP (may he rest in peace), usually used on tombstones; https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/requiescat%20in%20pace