Last month, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne revealed the company's Formula 1 team is considering turning Sauber into its junior team so that it can become a proving ground for members of Ferrari's young driver programme.
In Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi, Marchionne feels he has two "exceptional" drivers who need to gain F1 race experience soon (and who, indeed, might start looking elsewhere if they don't get such an opportunity). But while Leclerc is showing his talent in Formula 2 by dominating the championship and Giovinazzi is gaining Friday mileage with Haas after stepping in for Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber for a couple of races earlier this year, Ferrari does not want to catapult either straight into a Ferrari cockpit.
This is no surprise. Ferrari is, and always has been, conservative. The only driver under the age of 27 to have driven for the Scuderia in the past 25 years was Felipe Massa, who was 24 when he got his Ferrari seat in 2006. Ferrari's current line-up of Kimi Raikkonen, 37, and Sebastian Vettel, 30, is one of the oldest on the grid.