Ferrari Driver Academy member Charles Leclerc is to participate in four Friday practice sessions with Sauber over the remainder of this season. Leclerc, runaway leader in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 championship, will drive for the team in Malaysia, the United States, Mexico and Brazil.
The 19-year-old from Monte Carlo completed four FP1 sessions with Haas last season, and earlier this year impressed at the wheel of Ferrari’s 2017 car, topping the times on the opening day of the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test.
Leclerc, the reigning GP3 champion, will get his first taste of Sauber’s Ferrari-powered C36 at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit at the end of this month, taking over Marcus Ericsson’s car for the weekend’s opening session.
Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur recently admitted that power unit suppliers Ferrari will likely have an input regarding the Swiss squad’s 2018 line-up, and the news of Leclerc’s Friday outings will only heighten speculation that the teenager could replace Ericsson or team mate Pascal Wehrlein next season.