20-year-old Monegasque racing driver Charles Leclerc does not intend to set any firm expectations for his debut Formula One season in 2018 with the Alfa Romeo Sauber team, but at the same time he is sure that the team’s improved engine agreement with Ferrari will offer “a big step forward”. Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc will move up to Formula One next year after winning the 2017 Formula 2 title in dominant fashion, partnering Marcus Ericsson at the rebranded Alfa Romeo Sauber team.
Sauber finished last in the F1 constructors’ championship this year, scoring points in just two races, but was left hamstrung by a 2016-spec Ferrari power unit that was down on performance throughout the year. The young Monegasque racing driver is confident that the revised engine deal that will see Sauber get a 2018 power unit will boost the team, but is still unsure about making any firm predictions before he hits the track for the first time in pre-season testing:
“I guess it is quite hard to make them before you actually put your car on the track and see what it’s really worth” – Charles Leclerc explained, as reported by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport – “In junior categories, you can expect something and target something, but in Formula 1 it is a lot harder. The differences between the cars are bigger. We will see after the first test. As usual I will try to make the best work possible in the car, it’s difficult to expect something now. We have the new power unit, that should be a big step. Hopefully we can do also a step in the car. But it also depends on how big the step of the other teams will be. This we’ll have to see.” – Charles Leclerc concluded, as reported by the Italian media.