Leclerc back in for Haas in Brazilian practice

Charles Leclerc: Credit: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic

Esteban Gutierrez will be absent from Free Practice 1 at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace this weekend as will hand the wheel over of his Haas F1 Team VF16 to Charles Leclerc. This will be the Ferrari protégé’s fourth FP1 appearance.

Team principal Guenther Steiner believes Leclerc has shown a very professional manner during his time associated with the team and has provided good feedback during his previous runs at Silverstone, the Hungaroring and the Hockenheimring.

Although Steiner has ruled out Leclerc as a Haas racer in 2017, he believes he has a bright future in the sport, and is on the verge of stepping up into the GP2 Series next season.

“Charles has done a good job for the team,” insisted Steiner. “He always did his program and he performed what we asked of him.

“It’s always difficult when a driver is only in for FP1, but he’s very professional and has provided good feedback. We’ve been very happy with his contributions. He’s in GP3 at the moment and can win the title in Abu Dhabi.

“He’s got a season of GP2 coming up and we will see how far he can get. If he wins GP2 or is in the top-three in his first year of GP2, he will have a good future in front of him.”