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Official: Leclerc joins Ferrari for 2019

  • Published on 11 Sep 2018 10:38
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc will join Ferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 season, replacing veteran Kimi Raikkonen. Leclerc, a Ferrari junior driver, made his debut in the series at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year for Sauber.

Leclerc has impressed with his results, scoring a best result of P6 at Baku. He has finished inside the top ten on a further four occasions, while also out-qualifying current teammate Marcus Ericsson 11 times out of 14.

Ferrari does not usually bring in inexperienced and young drivers, however it is believed that the Maranello outfit's ex-president Sergio Marchionne was keen on bringing the Monegasque driver to Ferrari for the 2019 season before he passed away.

Leclerc has enjoyed a successful junior career on his way to Formula 1. After coming second in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps series, he advanced to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, where he finished fourth in the standings in his rookie year.

He didn't stay for a second season, advancing onto the GP3 series where he defeated teammate Alex Albon to take the title. In 2017, he joined the FIA Formula 2 Championship, where he dominated to take the title by over 70 points.

“I will be eternally grateful to Scuderia Ferrari for the opportunity given," Leclerc said. "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 [Bianchi], 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. Let’s go Sauber.”

Replies (9)

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  • wmponfire

    Posts: 6

    way to soon - hope ill be proven wrong though.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 11:06
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    He could be champ next year. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he's faster than Vettel.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 11:31
  • awesome news! Hope they let him race from the get go

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 11:33
  • Thank Fuck about time, Kimi getting boring now and not able to beat Seb we need new young blood instead of the same old drivers, and as much as Kimi is a character he has nothing new or interesting to say apart the odd time when he freaks out on team radio which is cool!

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 12:11
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Good luck to him. Major shift in the way that Ferrari hire their drivers. He will need some time to get to the next level lets hope that Ferrari doesn't wither if he has bad results.

    Could go either way but if you are good enough, you are old enough.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 12:27
  • Xtreme

    Posts: 19

    Go for it Charles. I will support you...

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 13:27
  • Much needed push for Vettel. But, wonder whats the point of sticking around for Kimi. May be Ferrari bought his services to develop the car.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 16:16
  • I've been asking for this change for years, but it has to be said that Kimi is having his best year since he returned to Ferrari. It's interesting to me that they are replacing him when he's driving better than ever (with Ferrari). I wonder in the incidents at Monza had anything to do with this.

    I'm excited for Charles, he's not just talented but a lovely chap. It will be fascinating how he compares to Sebastian. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts matching Sebastian right away. I'd love for once to see some intra-team battle at Ferrari.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 18:20
  • Im also a bit worried that its too soon, but he has been very impressive, so I could be wrong (and hope I am). But props to Ferrari for giving him a chance.

    • + 0
    • Sep 11 2018 - 19:24

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