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Leclerc feeling 'absolutely amazing' ahead of F1 bow

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari Driver Academy
© XPB 

The 2018 Formula 1 world championship will see reigning Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc make his Grand Prix début.

Leclerc has been signed for a full season at Sauber F1 alongside Marcus Ericsson. The Monegasque driver has already had eight free practice opportunities, first with Haas in 2016 and latterly with Sauber.

The 20-year-old also represented Sauber at two Pirelli tyre test sessions in 2017.

"I have had the opportunity to get to know the team already," Leclerc told the official Sauber website. "From the first moment on, all of the team members were very welcoming and helpful, and made me feel comfortable.

"I have already worked with some of the Ferrari engineers in the past," he added. "And I know Frédéric Vasseur from my time in GP3 when I drove for his team, ART Grand Prix.

"We have always had a very good relationship and I look forward to building on this next year."

Leclerc predicted exciting times ahead for the Swiss team as a result of its new title sponsorship with Alfa Romeo.

"Having the new 2018-spec Ferrari engine in place will be a big boost for the team," he said. "The newly formed partnership with Alfa Romeo is also exciting news.

"In terms of my expectations and goals, I will work hard to support the team in developing the car during the season," he pledged.

"My primary goal is to continue developing my skills as a driver, and to gain as much experience in Formula 1 as I can."

Leclerc can hardly contain his eagerness to get started, as he looks ahead to his first race in Australia at the end of March.

"It feels absolutely amazing. Like for any racing driver, signing the first contract as a full-time driver in Formula 1 is a dream come true."

The driver added that he would be keen to pick up tips from his more experienced team mate.

“It has been quite easy to get to know Marcus," he said. "He is going into his fifth season in Formula 1 and I can definitely learn from him. Especially in terms of all of the new procedures which I am currently getting used to.

"My main expectation and goal for the season in terms of our cooperation is that we work together constructively.

"[We must] provide the team with as much feedback as possible to develop the car in the right direction, so that we can both have a satisfying season.”

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