What happened to Charles Leclerc's dad as Ferrari driver posts heartfelt tribute?

Joshua Rogers June 20, 2022
What happened to Charles Leclerc's dad as Ferrari driver posts heartfelt tribute?
Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images

The Ferrari driver posted an emotional tribute to his late father on social media – but what happened to Charles Leclerc’s dad?

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has had a roller-coaster year in F1 so far. Leclerc jumped out to an early lead in the World Championship and was looking odds-on favourite to become world champion.

However, in recent weeks the Monégasque driver has had to deal with various car issues and has seen fierce rival Max Verstappen jump ahead of him in the standings.

The 24-year-old finished fifth in the recent Canadian GP after starting the race from the back of the grid. He is 49 points adrift of Red Bull’s Verstappen, who claimed first place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

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Leclerc posts heartfelt tribute to his father

On 20 June, Charles Leclerc posted an emotional tribute to his late father, five years after his death. Leclerc posted a picture with his family with the words: “Five years you are gone and I miss you every day. You were the best father I could have wished for, I love you.”

What happened to Charles Leclerc’s dad?

Understandably, fans wanted to know what had happened to Charles Leclerc’s dad following his poignant message.

Leclerc’s father was Hervé Leclerc, son of Charles Manni, who founded French car part manufacturer Mecaplast (later Novares Group).

Leclerc’s father Hervé raced in Formula 3 during the 1980s and 1990s, and was well respected on the karting scene. Hervé was an instrumental figure in the Ferrari driver’s life and career and helped his son rise through the junior ranks.

Sadly, Hervé passed away in 2017 aged 54 after a battle with a long-standing illness, believed to be cancer.

Leclerc’s father passed away just four days before Charles stormed to victory in the feature race at the 2017 Formula 2 Baku round.

Photo by Zak Mauger\Formula 1 via Getty Images

Ferrari driver sends message to Sergio Perez after Mexico GP

Sergio Perez’ podium in Mexico last season sparked jubilant celebrations, particularly with his father.

Sergio Perez may not have won his home race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but his podium was still something to revel in. The Red Bull driver finished P3, and celebrated on track with his father, Antonio Perez Garibay.

A day later, Perez Sr revealed his son Checo had received a call from Charles Leclerc, who had a heartfelt message for him.

“Checo received a call yesterday from Charles Leclerc, who said ‘Checo, you don’t know how happy it made me to see your parents celebrate like that, tears came to my eyes, I would have loved my father to see me’,” Garibay said.

Leclerc’s godfather is the late Jules Bianchi

Leclerc grew up and had a close relationship with the late Jules Bianchi, to whom he was a godson.

Bianchi was also a Ferrari Driver Academy member, and in 2013 made his debut driving for Marussi in F1.

Sadly, on 5 October 2014, during the Japanese Grand Prix, Bianchi was involved in a huge collision that left him in a coma for nine months.

He died on 17 July 2015 and, even though Leclerc was devastated, he carried on in honour of his godfather.

Do you think Charles Leclerc can fight his way back in contention for the World Championship? Let us know in the comments below.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.