Charles Leclerc has been announced as Kimi Raikkonen’s replacement at Ferrari, racing in 2019 alongside Sebastian Vettel. The 20-year-old will step up from Sauber after an impressive rookie season in Formula 1, with strong points finishes and Q3 appearances becoming a semi-regular occurance for Leclerc to out-score his more experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
Charles Lecerc has scored a best finish of sixth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a moment he marks as his true arrival into F1. Former Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne was keen to put Leclerc in his car for 2019 alongisde Vettel, but his unfortunate passing ahead of the German Grand Prix complicated matters. His replacement Louis Camilleri preferred to retain Raikkonen, but Ferrari’s new management agreed to honour Marchionne’s decision.
“Dreams do come true… I’ll be driving for Ferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship. I will be eternally grateful to Ferrari for the opportunity given. To Nicolas Todt for supporting me since 2011. To my family. To a person that is not part of this world anymore but to whom I owe everything of what is happening to me, Papa. To Jules, thank you for all the things you learnt me, we will never forget you, and to all the persons that supported me and believed in me. I will work harder than ever to not disappoint you. But first, there is a season to finish with an amazing team that gave me the opportunity to fight and show my potential.” – Charles Leclerc posted on Twitter after Ferrari officially confirmed the 20-year-old for the 2019 Formula One season.