Ferrari team principal says that their youth drivers, Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi, still have a lot to prove to the world if they are to become true top tier drivers, and worthy of one day being promoted to the senior Ferrari team. This is despite Leclerc's dominant displays in F1's main feeder series F2 and Giovinazzi's impressive pace when racing for Sauber at the beginning of the year as a replacement for the injured Pascal Wehrlein.
Many are heralding these two as the future as of the Ferrari team, with these two looking like the hottest prospects of the Ferrari youth team since the late Jules Bianchi. Many are expecting Leclerc to join the Sauber team as part of the teams agreement to supply them fresh engines for next year, whilst Giovinazzi is set to drive in practice sessions for Haas later in the year.
Ferrari are a notoriously tricky team to get into however despite their impressive records, and they are not keen on hiring any driver without a proven track record and plenty of F1 experience. In fact barring the disastrous turns of Badoer and Fisichella in late 2009 the last time Ferrari signed a driver who wasn't a proven race winner was back in 2006 when the team signed Felipe Massa as essentially a number two driver to back up Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari will be retaining its current line up for 2018, despite calls to replace the aging Raikkonen, with someone of the likes of Leclerc or Giovinazzi, with the likes of Hulkenberg, Perez and Grosjean also touted as his potential replacement, but Arrivabene and Ferrari seem content with their current line up, at least for the coming year.
Arrivabene said on the matter of their current line up and the young drivers of the future: "[Vettel and 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, I think we don’t find 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. But, before that, they need to demonstrate in Formula 1 that they deserve it."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing