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GP3 winner Leclerc gets practice outings with Haas

24 Jun 2016

Ferrari Driver Academy member and GP3 race winner Charles Leclerc will get his first taste of a Formula One car when he drives for Haas in opening practice at next month’s 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

Leclerc, 18, will also make FP1 appearances for the team in Hungary, Germany, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, on each occasion taking the place of race driver Esteban Gutierrez, a Ferrari Driver Academy alumnus, who will relinquish his seat to allow Leclerc to obtain valuable F1 experience.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get seat time in a Formula One car and I can’t thank Haas F1 Team and Esteban enough,” said Leclerc, who won 2016’s season-opening GP3 race in Spain last month. “I’m honoured by the faith Haas F1 Team and Ferrari have in me. This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula One driver.”

Monaco-born Leclerc has quickly risen through the karting ranks and into single-seaters. After winning 11 karting championships between 2005 and 2013, including an outright title in the 2012 WSK Euro Series Championship, he graduated to Formula Renault 2.0 in 2014, collecting a pole, two wins and nine podiums in 14 races. In 2015, he moved to the FIA Formula 3 EuroSeries, earning three poles, four wins and 13 podiums in 33 races.

“Charles Leclerc is highly regarded by Ferrari and his record speaks for itself,” said Guenther Steiner, Haas team principal. “We’re happy to provide this opportunity and help develop the next generation of Formula One drivers. Credit also goes to Esteban for sharing his race car and serving as a mentor to Charles.”