Sauber’s Frederic Vasseur has suggested that Charles Leclerc would be a good addition to the team’s driver line up in 2018. This follows rumours that the Swiss outfit could become a Ferrari junior team for next season, when Sergio Marchionne said that “The engines for Sauber are also a way to create a kind of junior team for our young drivers,” at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Frederic Vasseur: Charles Leclerc “would be useful” for Sauber
The “engines” that Marchionne referred to are in reference to Sauber’s new engine deal with Ferrari, which saw the team ditch Honda in an attempt to secure a higher quality up-to-date engine for 2018. This deal suggests that Ferrari would reserve one of the seats at Sauber in 2018 for one of its own drivers, with it being likely that either Antonio Giovinazzi or Charles Leclerc would be handed this drive.
Giovinazzi already has some experience in Formula 1 under his belt after driving in Australia and China at the start of 2017 at Sauber when standing in for an injured Pascal Wehrlein. The Italian driver faces stiff opposition from Leclerc however, who currently leads the Formula 2 Drivers’ Championship by 50 points with five wins and seven consecutive pole positions in 2017. Between these two drivers, it is unknown which will step up to F1, although Frederic Vasseur is quoted by Speed Week as saying that “It would be quite useful for Sauber to have someone like Leclerc as a driver.”
Leclerc also impressed recently when he got his first taste of 2017 F1 machinery, testing for Ferrari at F1’s in-season test in Hungary which saw the driver emerge with the fastest lap on the first day. Both Giovinazzi and Leclerc have also been called up by Pirelli to undertake 2018 tyre compound testing in Barcelona, Spain.
Embed from Getty Images