Charles Leclerc demonstrated on Sunday – on the way to his long overdue maiden Formula 1 victory – the strength of character and psychological toughness that is an indispensable part of the make-up of a grand prix driver.
The 21-year-old took a win – at the Belgian Grand Prix under intense pressure from Lewis Hamilton – that should have come many months before against the backdrop of the death of a man he has known and raced against for much of his young life.
When Leclerc took part in his first ever motor race, one of his rivals was Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in an accident of horrific violence in Saturday’s Formula 2 race at the daunting Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Leclerc said – of himself, Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly and Mercedes reserve Esteban Ocon – “we were four kids dreaming of F1 and we have grown up together.
To lose him was a very big shock for me and everyone in motorsport and a very sad day”.