20-year-old Monégasque racing driver Charles Leclerc, who is currently driving for Sauber in his first Formula One championship, has admitted that it is up to Scuderia Ferrari to decide if he is ready for a plum seat with the Maranello team ahead of the 2019 season. It is believed that although new boss Louis Camilleri and Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene wanted to keep Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen, a previous decision made by late president Sergio Marchionne to sign Charles Leclerc for 2019 will be honoured.
“Perhaps Kimi did not play along at Monza because he knows his contract has not been renewed,” Italian journalist Luca Budel said after the unfortunate outcome of the race at Monza, while Pino Allievi, the correspondent for La Gazzetta dello Sport, agrees: “We have strong suspicions that Leclerc is coming. Ferrari tried to place him with another team (Haas) but the answer was no and Charles was only on a two-year contract. So things turned in his favour.” – he added.
Charles Leclerc would not say if he will get a promotion from Sauber for 2019, but he said he always appreciated former Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne’s support: “I don’t know. They are familiar enough with me as a driver now and so they’ll decide if it’s enough or not. I am still young and I have so much to learn, but if the situation is that I go to Ferrari, my dream will be fulfilled. But I cannot say if I’m ready for it or not. It depends on them.”
The Monégasque racing driver has picked up 13 points for Sauber so far in the 2018 Formula One season.