Photo: Sauber F1 Team

Leclerc Set to Replace Raikkonen at Ferrari for 2019 F1 Season

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Ferrari has announced that Charles Leclerc will step up to replace Kimi Raikkonen for the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The 20-year-old Monaco native has put together an impressive rookie campaign for Alfa Romeo Sauber this year, with five results in the points through 14 races, including a career-best sixth in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April.

“Scuderia Ferrari announces that in the next Formula One racing season, Charles Leclerc will drive for the Team alongside Sebastian Vettel,” a brief statement from Ferrari read.

Leclerc took to social media to display his emotions for the upcoming opportunity, paying tribute to his late father, Herve, who died prior to locking up the 2017 FIA Formula 2 championship, along with former godfather Jules Bianchi, a fellow Ferrari junior driver that succumbed to injuries sustained in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Frederic Vasseur, team principal at Alfa Romeo Sauber, offered his praise of rookie driver.

“It has been a great pleasure to support Charles Leclerc in his rookie year in Formula One,” Vasseur said. “Since his arrival, he has given the team great motivation. We have constantly improved and we will work hard until the end of this season to achieve the best possible results together.

“We are aware of Charles’ talent and are confident that he will have a bright future. We will keep on following him closely and we wish him the best on his path.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.