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Leclerc's race number and the reason he chose it


Charles Leclerc's admits his Formula 1 race number with Sauber next year was a third choice as two other drivers on the grid secured his favourite digits.

The 20-year-old Monegasque will be racing with #16 stamped on his Sauber-Alfa Romeo in his maiden season of Grand Prix racing.

But how did the choice come about?

"I wanted number seven first, but Kimi [Raikkonen]had it," said Leclerc.

"Then I choose 10 but Pierre [Gasly] came to F1 and chose number 10.

“Then I wanted 16 because it’s my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And one plus six is seven, my favourite number."

The 2017 Formua 2 champion was the recipient of the FIA's Rookie of the Year award Friday evening in Paris.

Looking at his prospects for the year ahead, Leclerc said making projections was a pointless exercise until at least pre-season testing, when he gets a chance to sample his new mount

"Expectations in F1, it’s quite hard to make them before you actually put the car on the track and see what it’s really worth," he said.

"In junior categories you can target something, expect something, but in F1 it’s a lot harder because the differences between cars are a lot bigger.

"The new power unit should be a big step. Hopefully we can do a step also with the car, but then it also depends how big the step of the other teams is. This we’ll have to see."

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