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Charles Leclerc looks like a gamble by Ferrari – but he’s not | Giles Richards

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The 20-year-old Sauber rookie is calm, assured and mature beyond his years, handling tragedy with remarkable composure and F1 with excellent pace and outstanding racecraft

Throwing young talent into the heat of the battle at the very front of the Formula One grid is a bold move. For Ferrari, who have chosen to do just that by promoting the 20-year-old rookie Charles Leclerc to the team for next season, it is also out of character, given their usually more conservative approach to appointing drivers. Yet the Scuderia are far from taking a chance with Leclerc, one of the most exciting talents in the sport, who has proved he has the attributes to partner Sebastian Vettel in the most prestigious drive in motor racing.

Last season, on his way to a dominant title win in F2, Leclerc told me at the Hungaroring it was still a dream to make it to F1. He did not have to wait long and now drives for Sauber. Before this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, his home race, he said it was “a dream” to one day drive the red cars. In 2019 his remarkable and almost unprecedented fulfilment of all these aspirations will be complete as he joins Ferrari, to replace Kimi Räikkönen.

Related: Charles Leclerc to replace Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari ring changes

Related: Sebastian Vettel has questions to answer as he lets slip a great chance | Giles Richards

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