Charles Leclerc drives Michael Schumacher's iconic F2003 Ferrari sending F1 fans across the internet into meltdown: "Please don't crash it"
Charles Leclerc got the chance to drive Michael Schumacher's iconic 2003 F1 championship-winning car, the Ferrari F2003. The Monegasque drove the historic car around the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, much to the delight of fans around the world.
Watch the video below:
The track at Yas Marina was lit up by the sound of a V10 F1 car once again as the Ferrari driver belted the F2003 in an exhibition drive. The F2003 was highly successful in the hands of the great Michael Schumacher, who won his sixth world title in 2003. The car won seven races, five pole positions, and five fastest laps before being replaced by the even more dominant F2004 the following year. Leclerc's lap in the F2003 was on slick tires, unlike the grooved tires which were used back in 2003. The video was also taken using a wide-angle lens, giving fans a realistic picture of the brutal speeds these older-generation cars possessed.
Charles Leclerc, however, has built a bit of a reputation for crashing historic cars after he infamously crashed the 1974 Ferrari F1 car at the 2022 Historic Monaco GP. This sentiment was echoed by fans who commented on Twitter saying that they hope the Monegasque does not crash Schumacher's iconic car in Abu Dhabi.
Here are some more reactions from fans:
Charles Leclerc comments on new team principal Frederic Vasseur
Charles Leclerc and Frederic Vasseur were initially paired up at Alfa Romeo in 2018 when the Monegasque driver made his F1 debut. The Frenchman has now joined the Scuderia as their team principal, replacing Mattia Binotto. The synergy between the duo is tipped to be good for the Maranello-based team, who often suffered from poor strategic choices in 2022, leading to Red Bull's domination.
Before Vasseur's signing, Leclerc sat with the media at the annual FIA prize-giving ceremony in Bologna last month to explain his links to the Frenchman. He said:
"Ferrari is a very different team to any other teams. I can only comment on my experience with Fred which obviously has been good, I've worked with him already in the junior categories when he believed in me. We've always had a good relationship, but that shouldn't influence any of the decisions. He's always been very straightforward and very honest - it is something I've liked from Fred. Whether it will be him or not, I don't know. Hopefully we'll see in the next few months."
Charles Leclerc and Fred Vasseur's history of working together will likely play into Ferrari's hands in 2023, especially if they are capable of challenging for this year's title. It will be interesting to see if the Scuderia can rise back to the top of the sport for the first time since 2007.