Alfa Romeo Sauber’s star driver Charles Leclerc seems destined for a move to a Ferrari seat in 2019.
At the Paul Ricard circuit, the unheralded Leclerc qualified eighth in his Sauber. This put him a mere two places behind Raikkonen.
“I cannot find words,” the Monaco native said.
“It was like starting from scratch because we totally changed the car. I knew what I wanted and the engineers understood what I needed.
“I cannot believe this eighth place, it’s magical.”
The 20-year old even spoke about the rumours of a 2019 Ferrari seat. He said: “I am focused only on now, but I am inspired by Sebastian [Vettel].”
2007 F1 World Champion Raikkonen also remained rather coy amid the speculation.
“There is always a lot of talk every year, and now it’s happening again,” he said.
“You’d have to ask those people who write these things. It’s not really my concern.”
Sauber and Ferrari are ninth and second in the team rankings respectively going into today’s French Grand Prix.
Raikkonen’s position at Ferrari has been threatened before, particularly by president Sergio Marchionne. However, The Finn has come through on a few occasions for the Scuderia. But now, it seems that Ferrari’s patience has run out and Raikkonen isn’t getting any younger.
An interesting question would be, ‘What next for Kimi Raikkonen?’ Will he continue racing in other series like many others before him? or will he permanently hang up his boots?
It would also be interesting to see if Charles LeClerc will play second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel or will Ferrari treat both as equals.
With the race finally over, LeClerc has ended up on the edge of the points, further enhancing his reputation. Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen finished in 3rd position.