Ferrari junior Leclerc against Super Formula move, wants F1 in 2018

Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc wants to avoid following Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly into Super Formula and hopes to get straight into Formula 1 in 2018

Ferrari junior Leclerc against Super Formula move, wants F1 in 2018

Leclerc is dominating Formula 2 this season, but Vandoorne and Gasly - the previous two champions in what was then called GP2 - both had to wait for an F1 chance after their feeder series titles.

They were initially sent to Japan's premier single-seater category by their respective backers McLaren and Red Bull.

Asked by Autosport if spending 2018 in Super Formula was an option for him, Leclerc replied: "I'd prefer not to go to Japan, to be honest.

"But we'll see what the opportunities are at the end of this year. Hopefully I don't have to go to Japan."

Leclerc drove for Sauber in first practice for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, the first of four Friday F1 appearances he is dovetailing with F2.

He has been strongly linked to a full-time 2018 Sauber seat given Ferrari's interest in using it as an effective junior team.

While Leclerc acknowledged that Ferrari and his manager Nicolas Todt "are speaking a lot", he said they had decided not to inform him about how negotiations were progressing so he could focus on F2.

"I'm very happy about that. To be honest, I don't want to know much," said Leclerc, who can seal the F2 title at Jerez next weekend.

"I have a goal and it's to win the Formula 2 championship this year.

"Anything that comes after, will come after.

"I'm sure that Ferrari and Nicolas will work as hard as possible for me to have the best place possible in 2018.

"If I continue to do the job, like I did from the beginning of the year, in Formula 2 I hope they will find a place for me."

Leclerc - The 'special one' in Ferrari's ranks

Leclerc has already been mooted as a potential replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2019 if he impresses as a rookie with Sauber.

"Anyone who has the chance to drive for Ferrari would drive for Ferrari," said Leclerc when asked if he felt he would be ready for a Ferrari seat by 2019.

"I'm focusing on this year first in Formula 2, then I'll focus on next year and then we'll see for 2019."

Fellow Ferrari protege Antonio Giovinazzi is also in contention for a 2018 Sauber seat and has a Friday F1 practice programme with Haas.

Asked by Autosport if Ferrari had given him any indication of his season for next year, Giovinazzi replied: "I still have three FP1s so I want to do a good job there for the team and Ferrari as well.

"Then it's just a Ferrari decision. Of course the target next year is to have a full season but it's a Ferrari decision.

"I hope I'll know soon, but it's not important how long it will take.

"What is important is to be in the car next year."

shares
comments
Malaysian Grand Prix: Red Bulls lead Alonso in wet practice one

Previous article

Malaysian Grand Prix: Red Bulls lead Alonso in wet practice one

Next article

2018 Formula 1 calendar revised as Chinese and Bahrain GPs swap

2018 Formula 1 calendar revised as Chinese and Bahrain GPs swap
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021