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Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is driven by the dream of being number one

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc said he has always been fuelled by the ambition to become the number one in Formula 1 and clinch a world championship title.

In a recent interview, Leclerc revealed how this relentless drive shapes his approach to racing and life, while also reflecting on the lessons he's learned from being hard on himself during his formative years.

Leclerc's ultimate dream, like that of any Formula 1 driver, is to become a world champion. His closest opportunity came in 2022, but a series of driver errors and strategic missteps thwarted his chances.

However, with Red Bull facing increased competition from McLaren and Ferrari, Leclerc might be on the cusp of a renewed and genuine bid for the title.

Despite not yet winning an F1 title, Leclerc has secured six Grand Prix victories, the latest being his triumph at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend.

In an episode of the On Purpose Podcast, which aired recently, Leclerc delved into what keeps him motivated and the emotional highs of winning.

"Just to be the number one," Leclerc stated on the podcast. "The feeling of victory is incredible. I've won a few races in Formula 1, and each win is a testament not just to my performance but to the efforts of over 1,500 people working back at the factory in Maranello."

He continued, "Victory is what drives me. Every morning, I wake up thinking about it. On tougher days, the thought of winning a world championship gets me out of bed and into training."

Leclerc's self-criticism is well-known among F1 fans. The young driver has often been heard berating himself over the team radio, especially after significant mistakes like his crash at the 2022 French Grand Prix.

However, Leclerc does not shy away from displaying his emotions, whether it be the frustration of a mistake or the joy of victory, as seen when he broke down in tears after winning his home race in Monaco.

Reflecting on his career, the 26-year-old admitted that he used to be exceptionally harsh on himself, a habit that initially dented his self-confidence. "I was extremely harsh on myself, which I think now is a strength because I'm super honest with myself," Leclerc said.

"I don't like to be nice to myself when I make a mistake. But the reaction to those mistakes is crucial. Learning from them and turning them into something positive is vital."

He added, "When I was younger, I didn't handle mistakes well. It would affect my self-confidence. Now, I know that reaching this level is due to hard work and talent. It's important to keep self-confidence high, especially in difficult times, to stay on the right path."

Looking ahead, Leclerc's next challenge is the Canadian Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend of June 7-9. The race, set over 70 laps of the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, will be the ninth race of the Formula 1 season. As the competition heats up, Leclerc's determination to become the number one driver continues to fuel his relentless pursuit of excellence.

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