In 2011, he won the CIK-FI KF3 World Cup and the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy. In 2012, he was WSK Champion and in 2013, he finished runner-up in the European and Under 18 class with Fortec Motorsport. One year later, still with Fortec, he took the runner-up spot in the ALPS Championship. He was best rookie in his debut season in Formula 3 in 2015, when he raced for Van Amersfoort Racing, finishing fourth in the championship.
In 2016, Charles became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and won the GP3 series with ART Grand Prix, at that time run by Frederic Vasseur. The following year he won the Formula 2 Championship at his first attempt. In 2018, he made his Formula 1 debut with the Alpha Romeo Sauber team, scoring 39 points. In 2019, he partners Sebastian Vettel in the Scuderia Ferrari driver line-up. Shortly before Christmas, Scuderia Ferrari announced that it had extended his contract up to and including the 2024 season.
In 2020, Charles had to call on all his skills to deal with the shortcomings of the SF1000, scoring three times more points than his team-mate, thus contributing 75% of the team’s total that brought it sixth place in the Constructors’ championship. The Monegasque was eight in the Drivers’ classification, his best results being two podium finishes – a second place in Austria and a third in Great Britain – along with a further eight points finishes.
In 2021, he took pole at the Monaco GP, although he was unable to start the race because of a technical problem with the car. There was another pole in Azerbaijan and he drove brilliantly at Silverstone to finish second, having led the race until two laps from the flag. He took the SF21 into the points 18 times from 22 race starts, finishing seventh in the Drivers’ classification, thus playing a major part in Ferrari securing third place in the Constructors’ championship.
In 2022, he took nine pole positions, which put him third on the all-time list of Ferrari drivers behind Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda and he also won three times, in Bahrain, Australia and Austria, to finish second in the Drivers’ championship. In 2023 he again proved to be a qualifying star, with five pole positions, thus joining Niki Lauda on the Ferrari all-time pole list, with just Michael Schumacher out in front. Although there were no wins, he had a very strong second half to the season, finishing fifth in the championship.
On 25 January, Scuderia Ferrari announced it had extended its contract with Leclerc for several years.