Current team principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team Maurizio Arrivabene feels that Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi must prove themselves in Formula 1 before being considered for a seat with the Maranello team in the near future.
Scuderia Ferrari announced at the end of last month that current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen would be retained for the 2018 Formula One championship, as both of them have agreed to sign new contracts for three years and 12 months respectively.
Both 2016 GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi and current runaway Formula 2 leader Charles Leclerc were linked with the seats for the 2018 Formula 1 season, with the duo being leading stars of Scuderia Ferrari’s junior programme, but for the moment Maurizio Arrivabene saw no reason to change the existing line-up as far as the Maranello team is concerned:
“[Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen] went through the last three years with great co-operating within them. They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal said, as reported on Wednesday by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport – “I think we do not have any reason why not confirming them together. Talking about the young drivers, they are growing. Our objective is of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal for us. But, before that, young drivers like Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi need to demonstrate in Formula One that they deserve it.” – Maurizio Arrivabene concluded.
19-year-old Monegasque racing driver Charles Leclerc is the reigning GP3 champion. He has been a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2016 and is currently leading the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The young driver also took part in the mid-season Hungaroring test following the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, driving the Ferrari SF70H car. He was fastest on the first day of the test, running 98 laps in the process, but did not take part in the second day’s test.
Antonio Giovinazzi was the 2015 FIA European Formula 3 Championship runner-up after which he got the opportunity to race with Prema in the 2016 International GP2 Series, finishing in second place with five wins and eight overall podiums. The 23-year-old Italian has been chosen by Scuderia Ferrari as their FIA Formula 1 third and reserve driver for the 2017 season. He made his Formula One Grand Prix debut for Sauber at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, replacing Pascal Wehrlein who was not available due to injury. He also replaced Pascal Wehrlein at the following Chinese Grand Prix as the German-Mauritian Formula One driver continued his recovery.