Leclerc marked maiden F3 win with "emotional" moment with brother

Arthur Leclerc said he celebrated his first “special” FIA Formula 3 win at Paul Ricard with an “emotional” moment shared with older brother, Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc.

Race winner Arthur Leclerc,  Prema Racing

The Ferrari Driver Academy member, an F3 rookie in 2021, took his first points of the season in the second sprint race on Saturday, leading a Prema 1-2 ahead of team-mate Dennis Hauger

It was the closest the 19-year-old Monagesque will get to a home race this season, and he said it was “really special” to celebrate the moment with his family and friends, as well as the Ferrari F1 squad - with team principal Mattia Binotto extending his congratulations.

Leclerc started this afternoon’s race on reverse grid pole after finishing 12th in race one, having charged through the field from 30th and last on the grid.

The runner-up in last year's Formula Regional European championship, also with Prema, was ruled out of qualifying on the first lap after breaking his car over the controversial yellow kerbs at Turn 2.

“Of course, it’s quite special to get this first win, especially in this category, because we are a lot, we are 30 drivers,

“We are all really strong, all the teams are really competitive, drivers as well, so it feels great to be at the top.

“A weak point from my part, I need to work and to focus on qualifying to get better and better, and yeah the weekend will be better.”

Asked what his brother had said to him afterwards, the younger Leclerc said: “He was I think a bit emotional so yeah, me as well. To be honest we didn’t speak much, I just hugged him.

“It was really special to have all my family here, there is my friends as well in the grandstand, it was really a great feeling and to see all the Ferrari really supporting is great.

Arthur Leclerc,  Prema Racing

Arthur Leclerc, Prema Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

“The Ferrari Drivers Academy have done an amazing job with Prema to just get me ready to be competitive so I want to thank them a lot.”

Leclerc said he went into this morning’s race knowing he needed to “maximise all the opportunities that I get” but that he “knew that we had the pace straight away from FP.”

He said: “In qualifying, I had been a little bit unfortunate, but yeah it was a really good recovery this morning.

“To be honest I didn’t expect to come back from so far back on the grid, and we made it to P1 this afternoon.

“In the beginning, the start was quite good, so I was quite happy with it. Then the first part of the race I struggled a little bit with pace to build a gap from Dennis, and then after I was just focused on keeping moving corner by corner to make the defence at the end.

“Then I was able to put a gap and manage my tyres pretty well, so quite a good race.”

He will start tomorrow’s feature race from last place.

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