Ferrari Academy and Prema Racing in Formula 2 driver Charles Leclerc will drive in four Friday practice sessions for Sauber.
The Swiss team announced that the current leader in this year’s F2 will be participating in FP1 during the race weekends in Malaysia, US, Mexico and Brazil.
At the Malaysian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc will be driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari for the first time in FP1 on Friday at the Sepang International Circuit. Regular driver Marcus Ericsson will take over the car from FP2 onwards.
Ferrari is trying for some time to find a place for Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi in Formula 1. Initially the Scuderia turned to Force India about Charles. They followed Mercedes’ example of installing Esteban Ocon in the Silverstone team to gain experience. Force India accepted the talks with the idea of judging different options, as Sergio Perez was negotiating with Williams at that time. However, the Mexican subsequently refused the Grove team, while Force India has a duty to its sponsors and at least one of the team’s drivers must be over 25 years of age.
Ferrari Academy and Prema Racing in Formula 2 driver Charles Leclerc will drive in four Friday practice sessions for Sauber
The week before the Singapore Grand prix Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne and Formula 1 Scuderia boss Maurizio Arrivabene visited Sauber’s headquarters in Hinwil. According to various information, they were looking for a way to bring in the Swiss team Leclerc or Giovinazzi, or both.
Sauber’s team principal Frederic Vasseur said that there is no clause in their contract with Ferrari for drivers. He was categorical that any negotiation about that should be kept separate.
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) September 21, 2017
Leclerc is 19-years-old – he will turn 20 on October 16th
He is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2016. He began his carting career in 2005, winning different races and championships. In 2011 Leclerc won the CIK-FIA KF3 World Cup, meanwhile joining Nicola Todt’s All Road Management company.
The Monegasque began racing in single-seaters in 2014 – in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps. A year later he was already in Formula 3 with Van Amersfoort Racing. In December 2015 Leclerc participated in tests for ART Grand prix and Arden International. In February 2016 came the confirmation that he would race in GP3 and he went on to win the title. Prema Racing took him to Formula 2, where he is currently leading in the overall standings. In 18 races he has 5 wins, 7 pole positions, 4 fastest laps and 7 podiums. There are two more rounds – at Jerez in Spain and in Abu Dhabi. He has 218 points, while his nearest rival – Oliver Rowland – has 159.
Leclerc is also a test driver for the Formula 1 Ferrari team.