Leclerc gets four FP1 sessions with Sauber

Charles Leclerc

Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc will take part in free practice sessions with Sauber at four of the season’s remaining six races, the team announced on Thursday.

The Ferrari-backed 19-year-old from Monaco has dominated the support series this year and is strongly tipped to race for Sauber, who use the Italian manufacturer’s engines and have close ties to Maranello, in 2018.

Sauber said in a statement that Leclerc would test in Malaysia next week and then for the United States, Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In Malaysia he will be using Marcus Ericsson’s car, with the Swede taking it over again after first practice.

Managed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari boss and International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean, Leclerc is seen as a rising star of the sport and possible future Ferrari driver.

He is widely expected to take the place of Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber.