Leclerc's F1 2019 switch to Ferrari in place of Raikkonen back on

Charles Leclerc's Formula 1 promotion to Ferrari in place of Kimi Raikkonen is back on track, because Ferrari wants to honour the plan implemented by Sergio Marchionne before he died

Leclerc's F1 2019 switch to Ferrari in place of Raikkonen back on

As revealed by Autosport earlier this year, Marchionne's support of Sauber driver and long-term Ferrari protege Leclerc meant the Monegasque had a serious chance of gaining promotion to Ferrari after just one season of grand prix racing.

But that move seemed to have cooled in the wake of Marchionne's death, as his Ferrari CEO replacement Louis Camilleri is a close friend of Raikkonen's and wanted to see if the Finn's recent upturn in form would continue.

However, suggestions over the Italian Grand Prix weekend indicated Ferrari has elected to stick to the original plan and honour Marchionne's idea of putting in Leclerc as Raikkonen's replacement.

It is understood talks about the situation advanced at Monza, where Ferrari chairman John Elkann briefly met Leclerc.

Leclerc said at Monza on Sunday he had not been given a timeframe on a decision.

Asked by Autosport if he had spoken to Ferrari's new chiefs over the weekend, and about his relationship with Marchionne before them, Leclerc replied: "John came earlier here with Michael [Manley], the new FCA [boss] just to introduce the whole team to him and it was a good opportunity [to meet].

"But it was just an introduction [rather] than to speak about the future or anything.

"I've never had a direct contact with Mr Marchionne, but he was speaking well about me all the time.

"Obviously it was always a pleasure to have positive comments, but I didn't have direct contact with him."

Leclerc has been a star performer in his rookie season, bouncing back from a trying opening three weekends to score his first points with a sixth-place finish in Azerbaijan.

He has scored points on four more occasions, hauled Sauber into Q3 at three races and regularly bested his more experienced team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

But a tricky run over the last three races means Leclerc has not scored points since June's Austrian Grand Prix.

"They [Ferrari bosses] are the ones to take the decisions," said Leclerc when asked if he had done enough to earn a race drive at Ferrari.

"They know which driver I am and then they will judge whether or not it is enough.

"I'm still young and I still have a lot of races to learn and in the case I'll go there it will be a dream come true, but it's not to me to say if I'm ready or not.

"They know me perfectly well."

Leclerc has regularly referred to racing for Ferrari as a dream, and admitted it was difficult not to get sidetracked by that prospect.

"It's difficult to not have it in my mind because it's a dream since I was a child," he said.

"But I'm trying to have it as little as possible in my mind to focus on what's going on at the moment."

shares
comments
Rosberg: Vettel making too many errors to beat Hamilton to F1 title

Previous article

Rosberg: Vettel making too many errors to beat Hamilton to F1 title

Next article

Daniil Kvyat closing on return to Toro Rosso Formula 1 team in 2019

Daniil Kvyat closing on return to Toro Rosso Formula 1 team in 2019
Load comments
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Plus

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021