Date published: January 14 2020
Charles Leclerc decided to give skydiving a go in the off-season, but his decision not to tell Ferrari about it has left them “a little bit upset”.
Leclerc made himself one of the top talents in F1 last year, collecting more points, wins and poles than his four-time World Champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
The Scuderia quickly tied him down to a new deal after the season ended, committing the Monegasque driver until 2024.
But like everyone else Leclerc has switched his attention away from F1 over the winter, and his activities of choice were skiing and skydiving.
Not that he told Ferrari about the skydive – he said if he told them they would be upset, and it seems he was right.
Asked at Autosport International 2020 if he waited for Ferrari’s permission to go off and do his activities, Leclerc said: “Yes, you normally should do, [and] I do.
“[But] I didn’t for skydiving, because I just told myself that in case it will go wrong I will not be here to be told off. So, yeah, I just went for it, and then they were a little bit upset.
“At the end, I won’t do it a second time. It was amazing. But it was just to do it once.”
Leclerc also looked back to where his inspiration to go racing came from, and it showed where his mischievous side came from.
“I think the first person [that inspired me] was probably obviously my dad,” he said.
“He was in racing too, so he spoke to me of his early races or early years when he started racing and things like this.
“And then I started actually, by coincidence. I didn’t want to go to school [one] day – like many children, I guess.
“I told my dad I was ill just because I didn’t want to [go]. Luckily for me, he believed me and by coincidence, he was going to this karting track. So I went with him.
“Obviously after that he saw that I was not ill when I started to push this to try karting, which I did.”
When F1 drivers do have some down time it’s common for them to try out other forms of racing – Lewis Hamilton recently tested Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP bike, while Valtteri Bottas has given rallying a go.
If you gave Leclerc the choice though he would just want more F1 races over the winter, but he wouldn’t mind giving rallying or MotoGP a go.
“To be completely honest, I am obsessed with Formula 1 so in the off-season I would like to have just a few more races to still race in F1,” he said.
“But if I had to choose, probably rallying is something I would like to experience one day. It is quite different to what I am used to going around in circles from the morning to the afternoon, so rallying is something exciting I would like to try.
“I would love to drive a MotoGP [bike] but I’m not sure Ferrari agrees.
“I need to ask but I love bikes in general. I’m not sure Ferrari agrees for me to drive a MotoGP bike though!”