Haas will give Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc his Formula One race weekend debut in free practice for July’s British Grand Prix.
The 18-year-old, who leads the GP3 Series standings for ART Grand Prix after winning the season-opening feature race at Barcelona, will replace Esteban Gutierrez behind the wheel of the Haas VF-16 during FP1 on Friday at Silverstone. The Ferrari Academy driver is set to take the place of Gutierrez for four further Friday FP1 appearances for the American team in Hungary, Germany, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.
In a statement to the media this week, team principal Gunther Steiner said the following about Leclerc gaining practice runs with the Haas team as follows:-
‘Charles is highly regarded by Ferrari and his record speaks for itself. We’re happy to provide this opportunity and help develop the next generation of F1 drivers. Credit also goes to Esteban for sharing his racecar and serving as a mentor to Charles.’
In his own statement to the media, Leclerc is clearly delighted about gaining this opportunity and understands the significance as well. Leclerc stated the following:-
‘This is a fantastic opportunity to get seat time in a F1 car and I can’t thank Haas and Esteban enough. I’m honoured by the faith Haas and Ferrari have in me. This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a F1 driver.’