Charles Leclerc will become the first driver that Frederic Vasseur has worked with in junior formulae to race for the Frenchman in Formula 1, when he debuts in the Australian Grand Prix with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
Monegasque driver Leclerc raced for Vasseur’s ART Grand Prix team back in the GP3 Series and then into FIA Formula 2, with the twenty-year-old winning both titles, and will now join the Sauber Team Principal’s Formula 1 outfit with a glowing reference of his work ethic from the Frenchman.
“I’ve known Charles since his karting days,” said Vasseur to French publication Auto Hebdo. “I’m happy because this is the first driver I’ve had in the junior categories that I now work with in F1.
“He did not miss a single debriefing. I will not mention anyone, but there were others who would have returned to the hotel. All the drivers are fast, but the champions have something else as well.”
Vasseur has long been involved in the development of young drivers and is looking to introduce a young driver programme to the Sauber team for next season, which would aid up-and-coming talent coming through the ranks.
“I have worked with young drivers for 20 years,” said Vasseur to Swiss publication Blick. “I am planning a junior academy at Sauber, probably from 2019. But there must be real potential, as with Charles Leclerc.”