Date: 23rd September 2017 at 6:08pm
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One of motor racings hottest prospects will take to the track in Malaysia for Free Practice One.

Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc will take Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber for the first Friday session in Sepang and will take the wheel for another three sessions at the United States, Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix weekends.

Many in the paddock believe that Ferrari could well be lining Leclerc up to replace Kimi Raikkonen as soon as 2019, especially if they can secure him a drive further down the grid for next season.

He’s likely to have many takers at the back end of the grid after impressing in junior categories.

Leclerc is the current GP3 Series champion and has thus far dominated Formula 2 [formally GP2]. He is 59 points clear of his rivals and could clinch the title in the next round of the series at Jerez.

Sauber could well be the perfect place for him, not only towards the tailend of this season, but also next with the team recently ditching their Honda contract to remain with Ferrari.

The news will also please Formula One sporting managing director Ross Brawn who wants to see more Formula 2 drivers getting a chance during Formula One free practice sessions.

‘Putting someone into F1 who hasn’t got the experience is a risk, You have to prepare them as well as possible, maybe doing the Friday morning practice. Those sorts of initiatives are important before they get exposed.

‘If they have a problem [and] they get into F1 the wrong way, then their careers could be damaged.
he told motorsport.com.

‘we’ve started looking at more positive initiatives to get the young guys to have an opportunity to drive ? that sort of thing [is] what’s being discussed at the moment.’

He added: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had a young guy coming in, he was a star in F3, a star in F2 and then he does a [Max] Verstappen-like entry into F1.

‘That’s what we want to see. By having those races at an F1 grand prix, the fans can start to engage with them. It has so many benefits ? commercially and from a sporting perspective ? that we’ve got to make it work.’

 

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