Leclerc clinches Formula Two title at his first attempt

Formula Two

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Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc has won the Formula Two championship with three races to spare.

“Everything feels amazing now,” said Leclerc after sealing the title with victory in the opening race of the weekend at Jerez. That moved him out of reach of Oliver Rowland, who was his closest challenger in the championship.

The pair finished first and second, separated by two tenths of a second, after a frantic dash to the chequered flag following a late Safety Car deployment.

“It’s not been easy at all. We’ve had very good results, we’ve had some ups and downs, it was definitely not easy. But we’ve had an amazing year and an amazing car all year long which helped me win the championship.”

Leclerc claimed his sixth victory of the season, all bar one of which have come in the longer Feature races. He took pole position, as he has done in all bar two of the qualifying sessions this year. He would also have started from pole at the Hungaroring but was stripped of his times due to a technical infringement.

The 19-year-old is the first driver to win back-to-back championships in GP3 and Formula Two, which was previously known as GP2.

The title of F2 champion has been awarded for the first time in five years. The last driver to win a Formula Two championship was Luciano Bacheta, who won the final season of the FIA’s short-lived revival of the series in 2012.

Leclerc has previously driven for Haas and Sauber in F1 practice sessions and will return with the latter at the next round of the championship at the Circuit of the Americas.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Leclerc clinches Formula Two title at his first attempt”

  1. He won with 3 races to go until the end of the season. And he’s lost many points due to things that weren’t his fault (Monaco both, Austria sprint, Hungary feature, Spa both, Monza both). I count about 120 points lost. And still, he’s 70 points ahead. (to make it fair, I also count Rowland’s lost about 50 points – so Leclerc should be *only* 140 points ahead, rather than 190, but still, insane).
    Honestly, I wouldn’t have been against doing a Hamilton and chucking him in the Ferrari for 2018. He can handle it. Him, Verstappen and Norris will fill the void of Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton very nicely.

    1. digitalrurouni
      7th October 2017, 17:05

      This. So much this. I hate the ultra conservative approaches some of these mega teams have. It’s not like they can’t afford it! Max Verstappen joining Red Bull and even Lance Stroll to some extent IMHO has been very good for the sport if you ask me. Liberty Media should definitely intervene and search for more exciting new blood. Only other person who is exciting both on and off track seems to be Lewis Hamilton and those newcomers. The rest are just…vanilla. And yes I watch F1 for the speed, the drama, the technology and the drivers. They are all tightly intertwined to me at least.

      1. How on earth could the arrival of Stroll do any good to the sport? It just shows that an average unprepared kid can be in F1 with pouring tens of millions a year for a seat.

        1. Digitalrurouni
          8th October 2017, 3:24

          Stroll has been holding his own quite well all things considered. He has money and he has taken advantage of thst fact. Thats a other route to f1. I dont see anything wrong with it.

          1. “He has money and he has taken advantage of that fact. That’s a other route to f1.”

            You don’t see anything wrong with that?

          2. I see a guy that clearly had not the level to be in F1 and with millions he spend the year training in a two year old car hoping to catch up.

            Maybe he will be sufficiently good to be in F1 but he wasn’t ready and I’m not interested to see average unprepared drivers in the top category. I see a quality problem and if you don’t it’s a pity.

            He was embarrassing in the first half of the season.
            Williams having chosen a driver quality below Massa is an error IMO. They should have gone for Werhlein or something.

        2. I really think that Stroll has done very well in his first season. No, he is no super star, but he is holding his own and has been in the points 6 times:

          AUS – Ret
          CHN – Ret
          BHR – Ret
          RUS – 11
          ESP – 16
          MON – 15
          CAN – 9
          AZE – 3
          AUT – 10
          GBR – 16
          HUN – 14
          BEL – 11
          ITA – 7
          SIN – 8
          MAL – 8
          JPN – Ret

          He was amazing in the wet at Baku. That was no fluke; that showed reall skill.

    2. Utter domination and I agree, why not give him the nod over Kimi, he’s clearly a rare talent and Raikkonen’s hardly been setting the world alight the past few years.

      As a side note, I realise this was a standalone event, but organisationally this race was a shambles; what with the lack of yellow flags after Ferrucci and Matsushita clashed, the delay on the saftey car and the management of the lapped runners.

    3. If Hamilton wraps up the title early Ferrari ought to put him in Kimi’s seat for a few races. It could be the right time for both of them.

      Will never happen.

  2. I still don’t understand why this race didn’t take place in Japan, supporting F1. It’s a series which pretty much exists to do exactly that. If the future aim is to bring it closer to F1, then it seems senseless to put it on the other side of the planet

    1. Teams are based in Europe. It’s financially unreasonable to expect them to fly over to Japan.

      1. @paeschli to be fair, they used to go to Singapore, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. Suzuka could be done as well.

        1. @fer-no65 Bahrain, Sochi, and Baku as well.

  3. He is faster but it’s obvious that he have the fastest car too.

    1. Miane – you do know that it’s a spec series? The cars are mechanically and electronically identical. See:

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        8th October 2017, 0:03

        It is indeed a spec series, but the better teams are definitely capable of getting a lot more performance from the cars than their less well-funded and equipped rivals. Set-up makes a huge difference.

        Taking nothing away from Leclerc, of course… as his team-mate showed, being a Prema driver is just an advantage, not a guarantee.

  4. I’ve seen Gene Haas a bit disheartened. Steiner is feeling the pressure. Why did Haas re-signed their drivers so quickly.
    Honestly I’d break Mag’s and Romain’s contracts, surely less expensive than poor results and several rebuilds.
    Put LeClerc and Giovinazzi in their places.
    We’ve rightfully lost Palmer, now we need to lose the Haas drivers, Marcus, Kvyat and Massa. I’d put Stroll in there but it’s not going to happen.

  5. Fun fact:
    They played … The French national anthem instead of the Monegasque one on the podium. Quite embarrassing, Leclerc was not impressed.

    Anyways, kudos to him he deserved his title by thoroughly wiping the competition (which is unfortunately too weak. Lots of very average drivers in F2 currently)

    1. @spoutnik That’s still better than the 1977 Austrian GP: when all Alan Jones got was some drunk guy playing ‘Happy Birthday’ on a trumpet.

      1. @tomd11 Hahah indeed what a mess! He didn’t seem that much bothered though.

  6. I do hope Ferrari are not going to make the same mistake as what they did with Bianchi and carry on with the sad clown Raikonnen rather than just promote Leclerc.

  7. 12/2017 – breaking news: “Raikkonen resigns, the seat goes to Leclerc”.
    Sweet dreams..

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