After a stunning debut season in Formula 1 for Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque driver has claimed the FIA Rookie of the Year award for the second year in a row at the FIA Prize Giving in Saint Petersburg.
Leclerc becomes the only driver in the award’s short history (it was launched in 2014) to win the prize twice, having previously claimed it for securing the 2017 Formula 2 title in his first and only season in the category before stepping up to Formula 1.
Any driver who has completed their first season in an FIA championship is eligible for the award, meaning that Leclerc was crowned ahead of drivers from series as diverse as the World Endurance Championship, the World Rally Championship and the CIK Karting KF World Championship.
It comes after a year that saw Leclerc initially struggle to get on top of the demands of driving F1 machinery, before the 21-year-old went on to put in some momentous performances for the much-improved Sauber squad, highlights being his sixth place in Azerbaijan, as well as a trio of season-ending seventh places in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
His 10 points-scoring finishes of the season were the most for a Sauber driver in Formula 1’s post-2014 hybrid era, while Leclerc’s scintillating rookie performance ultimately saw him handed a drive with Ferrari for 2019 alongside Sebastian Vettel.