Charles Leclerc has revealed the emotional stress that being an F1 driver can have on his family.
The Ferrari title challenger trails only Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the 2022 standings, although he is at an 80-point disadvantage.
Leclerc roared out of the blocks at the beginning of the season but a series of mistakes, and reliability issues, have ceded the initiative to Verstappen.
The Monegasque driver has now offered a rare insight into how he, and his family, deals with the inherent dangers of F1.
“So it’s tough on my mother,” Leclerc said to GQ Magazine.
“And I don’t know what to tell her. Other than: I love what I do.
“There’s nothing in particular I can say to make her feel better.
“I’m not going to say I’ll be careful. That wouldn’t be true. I’m going to give it my best, whatever.
“She knows: It’s a dangerous sport. It got massively safer through the years. But it will remain forever a dangerous sport.
“She knows I’m the happiest once I’m in that car.”
Reminders of how dangerous this can sport can be were present at Silverstone for the F1 British Grand Prix when Zhou Guanyu suffered a terrible crash.
He admitted afterwards that he was saved by the Halo, the once-controversial device which Lewis Hamilton also credited with being a life-saver.
Leclerc, in his rookie F1 season, was forced to credit the Halo after a crash involving Fernando Alonso.
“I have never been a fan of the Halo but I have to say that I was very happy to have it over my head today,” Leclerc said.
“I felt the impact and looking at the image of my car it is quite spectacular.