Leclerc to skip Malaysia practice outing after schedule change

Charles Leclerc - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charles Leclerc’s planned free practice outing at the Sepang International Circuit has been postponed after the weekend schedule for the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend was changed.

The Monegasque driver was set to make his fourth appearance of the season at the Malaysian circuit for the Haas F1 Team in place of Esteban Gutierrez, but will now see his next outing come at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November.

With the GP3 Series making its debut at Sepang but sees a much different timetable to the usual races in Europe, with free practice taking place on Thursday rather than Friday evening, while qualifying now takes place on Friday rather than Saturday.

The decision to postpone Leclerc’s Haas appearance comes as it would have meant the GP3 championship leader would switch from GP3 machinery to F1 machinery and back again, rather than the just usual F1 to GP3 he has had before.

Leclerc will now participate in the opening sessions at Interlagos and Abu Dhabi to make up his five planned sessions, although his main focus will be winning the GP3 crown, as it would give him the required points to qualify for a Formula 1 Superlicence.