Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has said that Ferrari had to the future when deciding on their 2019 driver line-up, caused by the recent surge in the number of young drivers coming into F1. Charles Leclerc, who will turn 21 in October, will replace Kimi Raikkonen as Sebastian Vettel's team-mate next season and in doing so will become the youngest Ferrari driver in 50 years.
Leclerc is a product of Ferrari's own junior programme and progressed through the ranks quickly thanks to his impressive results in feeder series, especially his dominant run last year in Formula 2. He has also impressed at Sauber, who is linked to Ferrari thanks to their title sponsor, Alfa Romeo.
Arrivabene told Sky Sports F1: "Times are changing. The most important thing is to keep our DNA but also to look forward to the future. If you look at the situation in the paddock today, Red Bull took Gasly alongside Verstappen and McLaren have Sainz with Norris who is a rookie. Looking to the future, Mercedes making the choice two years ago [appointing Valtteri Bottas to partner Lewis Hamilton] they already have an advantage.
The best way to be able to gain something is to make that choice and to grow up a talent that was born into the Ferrari driver academy."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing