Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Ferrari should not put Charles LeClerc in the team yet. The Canadian is of the opinion that the Monegasque driver isn’t ready to move up to the big leagues yet. The 1997 Champion said that if Ferrari promote their driver next season, it could end up ruining his future.
Ferrari hold all the cards in terms of LeClerc’s future as he is part of their driver academy. The Italian team decided that he would drive in the Sauber this season, and will call the shots on where he goes next year. However, Villeneuve suggested that they give the 20-year-old another year to learn the ropes.
“I think it’s too early for him, On the one hand, Ferrari risks burning him if he is beaten by Vettel. And on the other hand, they need an experienced second driver, and Kimi Raikkonen is quite stable now,” Villeneuve said.
“If Sebastian has to develop the car alone next year, that’s a disadvantage. I would give Leclerc another year to develop and learn.”
Over the past week, many rumours have been linking LeClerc to the Italian team. He was even asked about the possibility of driving for Ferrari next year. But he opted to dismiss it as a dream.
In Saturday’s qualifying session, he was eliminated in 13th but started the race in 18th due to a five-place gearbox grid penalty.
Despite that, he managed to claw his way up the order to finish in the points. To be more specific, he ended the race in 9th, ahead of teammate Marcus Ericsson in 10th.
LeClerc has been seen as a prodigy and a driver who could usher in a new dawn for the Scuderia. The Alfa-Romeo Sauber driver would also be the first Ferrari Academy driver to race for the Prancing Horse.