How does an understudy oust the star? When does the beta know it is time to replace the alpha? What does a support act need to do to become the main attraction? Look to Charles Leclerc and one may find an all-encompassing answer. After all, he has unwittingly become the perfect Formula 1 subject for such questions.
Even if Leclerc wasn't asking himself these questions in relation to his position within Ferrari at the start of 2019, plenty were asking on his behalf. The 'what' seemed a certainty: eventually Leclerc would displace Sebastian Vettel within Ferrari. The 'when' was a little more unclear, but surely it would only be a matter of time. The main unknown was 'how'. After all, team principal Mattia Binotto called Vettel - a four-time world champion now in his fifth season with Ferrari - Maranello's "guide" to the title. Leclerc was the highly rated young upstart of whom Ferrari expected great things but did not want to crush under the pressure of expectation.
Leclerc knew this, accepted he would start life as a de facto number two and called it "my job then to turn things around". Some nine months later, he may sit and reflect on a job well done, with two races particularly clear in his, Binotto's and Vettel's memories.