Charles LeClerc’s F2 Chief Says F1 Has ‘No Sense’ If He’s Not Called Up In 2018
The 19-year-old is sailing to an easy Formula 2 championship this year.
While Ferrari has plenty on its plate halfway through the 2017 F1 season, Prema Racing team manager Rene Rosin wants to make sure that star youngster Charles LeClerc is a top priority. The 19-year old has dominated the rest of the field in this year's Formula 2 season with ease, putting him at the top of the ladder for prospective Ferrari drivers in coming years. And even though Ferrari doesn't have any empty seat yet, Rosin feels that it would be senseless if LeClerc isn't called up to F1 in some way, shape, or form in 2018.
Talks of the Maranello crew utilizing Sauber as a "junior team" next season have swirled, possibly providing the perfect avenue for LeClerc to enter the series. This would enter him into F1 action without putting him on the A-Squad with Vettel, thus giving him the experience that Rosin says he needs and deserves.
"Drivers like Antonio, like Pierre, like Charles should be in Formula 1 because they fully deserve it," Rosin told Autosport. "How Charles is managing everything this year is something really incredible so he really deserves a chance. I think that they have to put him in the [F1] car, otherwise what's the sense of the junior formulas?"
He backed that statement up pointing out a current example of the situation in McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne.
"Stoffel Vandoorne now is in Formula 1, but also in the beginning [as reigning GP2 champion] he was parked in Super Formula."
Essentially, Rosin is looking for these young drivers like LeClerc and fellow Ferrari newcomer Antonio Giovinazzi to get their shot without squandering all of their time in lower leagues. Giovinazzi served a short stint with Sauber earlier in the year as a replacement for then-injured Pascal Wehrlein, getting in a decent amount of seat time before heading back down to F2.
Rosin looks for this new structure to be implemented ASAP, and with the way things have changed since Liberty Media took over for Bernie Ecclestone in January, some believe it could be a possibility.
"There needs to be a lot of changes in the structures of motorsport to do something to arrive at that point. It depends on how everything is organised, and in the case of a customer car I think it's possible to be organised, but of course with the situation as it is today no - it's something that needs to be planned, needs to be agreed and needs to be developed, also in terms of regulations."