Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2017

Leclerc’s Sauber practice schedule announced

2017 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Formula Two points leader Charles Leclerc will have four runs for Sauber in F1 practice sessions this year, beginning with the next round in Malaysia.

Leclerc, who is a Ferrari development driver, will get behind the wheels of Sauber’s Ferrari-powered C36 at Sepang, the Circuit of the Americas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Interlagos.

Sauber confirmed Leclerc will drive Marcus Ericsson’s car in the first of his runs in Malaysia.

The 19-year-old, who is the reigning GP3 champion, can clinch this year’s Formula Two championship title in the stand-alone double-header round at Jerez next month. He has already scored wins in Bahrain, Spain, Azerbaijan, Austria and Britain.

Leclerc also tested for Ferrari at the Hungaroring last month.

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20 comments on “Leclerc’s Sauber practice schedule announced”

  1. Here’s to hoping he’ll impress and will get a seat next year, with hopefully a slightly more competitive Sauber with the upgraded engine – so he could actually fight some people other than his teammate.

    1. @hugh11
      Leclerc getting a seat for next year is almost inevitable I think, given his performance this year. Giovinazzi is another question, seems to me he might continue as Ferrari 3rd driver. I feel like Sauber will be fighting Toro Rosso next year at the back, if not towards the rear of the midfield.

      1. Oh yeah. I imagine it is. He’s 60 points ahead, but that’s not even representative – he should be well over 100 ahead with times he’s lost points due to his team/other drivers. Giovinazzi is an intriguing question. Because, I was expecting him to go to Haas, but they’ve said that Grosjean and Magnussen are staying. So the only way he’ll get a seat, is if the Sauber owners drop their sponsorship of Ericsson, which I can’t see happening at least until Joel Eriksson comes through, if he does…

        1. They’re trying to put Ericsson on Massa’s seat on williams. But I don’t think Williams will be crazy enough to have 2 pay drivers. If Kubica don’t impress it’s more likely that Massa will stay. Wherlein would be risky for them and he is too young.

      2. @george – This Sauber. They’ll probably sogn both to partner Ericsson!

        1. @petebaldwin and Palmer. DIR as well?

          1. And vdG, because why not?

          2. Why not indeed. How about Kubica?

        2. Signing more drivers than seats was something Monishia did. Since she’s not running the team any more, I would prefer to assume the new owners have worked out three into two doesn’t go unless presented with evidence to the contrary.

  2. I’m surprised that Ericsson will be sitting out, with Longbow Finance allegedly pulling the strings at Sauber and Wehrlein being a lame duck, his departure from Sauber all but announced.

    1. I thought the same… only explanation I can come up with is that Mercedes made sure Wehrlein’s contract had something about not missing FP1 sessions in it.

    2. It has been pretty clear that both Ericsson and Wehrlein are on the same level in the team despite ownership and sponsors. Sauber even moved Ericsson over to let Wehrlein score the point in Baku. So I’m not surprised he is moving over to let Leclerc have FP1 in Malaysia, we will see if he has to move over every weekend..

      1. I think the only reason Wherlein is on Sauber is that they wanted to have a chance to have Mercedes engine. Now that they signed Ferrari I very much doubt he will stay. Isn’t like he is so much faster than Ericsson.

        The funny thing is that Wherlein was on par with Ocon (who is almost on Perez level) and being close to Ericsson shows that Ericsson (and Nasr) wasn’t mediocre drivers.

        F1 really need at least 1 more team to stop losing promissing drivers.

        1. Agreed. Ericsson, and Nasr, were two of the drivers I rated the lowest ahead of 2016. Either Wehrlein is not as good as I though, or Ericsson actually is better than I expected.

          Is Wehrlein better? Yes. Would I prefer him over Ericsson? Yes. When taking money into account though, Ericsson should be an attractive offer to most midfield teams.

  3. Palmer, Ericsson, Massa, Stroll, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Kvyat all have F1 seats and shouldn’t.

    Leclerc, Giovinazzi, Frijns (won the Blancpain championship just now), Buemi (won FE this yr) Vergne (remember him?) Gasly and (soon) Norris should have those seats instead imho.

    1. Buemi and Vergne had their chances. They were mediocre. Grosjean should not be on your list, perhaps neither should Stroll. Stroll impressed me in Singapore, in Baku, and in Monza. He is getting better.

      The rest of them? Yes. Leclerc, Giovinazzi, Frijns, soon Norris, should all be in F1. Gasly? Perhaps.

      I’d like to see Josef Newgarden and Felix Rosenqvist in F1 too! =)

    2. Buemi won the FE this year? Must have missed something.
      He wasn’t impressive at all.
      Giovinazzi just showed everyone how to smash F1 cars.

      LeClerc will be fun to watch, see if he lives up to the hype. I doubt it as Premas car this year was oustanding.

      1. Err, not exactly a Prema advantage IMHO, just look over to the other side of the garage.

  4. I really hope Giovinazzi will get a chance to show something. Those crashes in China has done no good to him but having watched last year GP2 championship I’m convinced he can really shine.

  5. …. will get behind the wheels of Sauber’s Ferrari-powered C36 at Sepang

    Wow, he is going to be the rear jack man too?!

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