Princess Charlene of Monaco stopped for pictures and hugged Formula One driver Charles Leclerc during a visit to the Sauber garage today.
The royal visited the garage during the Abu Dhabi free practices ahead of the final race of the season tomorrow where Monaco born Leclerc will start from eighth position.
This weekend’s Grand Prix will be 21-year-old Leclerc’s last drive with Sauber before he joins Ferrari’s team for 2019 in place of Kimi Raikkonen.
Princess Charlene of Monaco hugs F1 driver Charles Leclerc at the Sauber garages during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today
Leclerc, 21, was born in Monaco and will drive for Ferrari in the 2019 racing season
Next week the young racer will have his first test drive with Ferrari since he was confirmed for their 2019 season and said he expects it to be ’emotional,’ reports Autosport.
The outing in the Pirelli tyre test at the Yas Marina Circuit has been a formality for a while, but it wasn’t officially confirmed until recently.
Leclerc said: ‘It will be quite emotional…I’m definitely looking forward to trying it.
‘It’s two different teams and I always struggle to compare two cars because they have different balances and are driven differently.’
Leclerc joined Ferrari’s young driver academy at the start of 2016 and claimed titles in GP3 and Formula 2 before signing with current team Sauber.
Other drivers will also test out their 2019 teams next week.
The Monaco royal spoke with other Sauber team members during her visit to the garage today
Leclerc (pictured) will start from eighth position in the race tomorrow, which is the final drive of the season
Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Sauber and George Russell will race with Williams.
McLaren’s team will gain Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris who is currently competing in Formula 2.
Princess Charlene, 40, and her husband Prince Albert were the guests of honour at Monaco Grand Prix in May.
The race, known as the most glamorous fixture in the Formula One calendar, did not disappoint and the Princess was snapped enjoying champagne with the winners.
Princess Charlene joined race winner Daniel Ricciardo on the podium and necked some of the drink from the bottle.
Ricciardo and Brit Lewis Hamilton then sprayed champagne across the stage after gaining crucial points in the Monte Carlo F1 fixture.
Princess Charlene of Monaco joins Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo after his Red Bull team clinched the top spot on the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix in May