We’ve seen some massive moves in the driver market already this year, but this one might just top the lot. Ferrari confirmed today what has long been rumoured: Charles Leclerc will partner Sebastian Vettel next year, replacing the Sauber-bound Kimi Raikkonen.
2017 Formula 2 champion Leclerc has turned heads in his debut season in Formula 1, with a string of impressive performances for the improving Sauber team. Having been forced to adapt his driving style following some early-season struggles, Leclerc’s now made it into Q3 in qualifying on three separate occasions, while in the races, he’s been even better, scoring points five times in 2018 – with a best finish of sixth in Azerbaijan.
Leclerc’s strong showings have drawn praise from no less than four-time world champions Sebastian Vettel – his future Ferrari team mate – and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. “The races he's had so far, he has used his opportunities, scored points with a car that doesn't belong in the points,” said Vettel. “So he is doing everything he can.”
Hamilton, meanwhile, said that Leclerc “really has the potential to do great things [in Formula 1] – and you can't say that about every kid who has come through in the past years.”