Racing Point Force India F1 Team‘s Esteban Ocon is confident that new Scuderia Ferrari signing, Charles Leclerc will be in the fight for a title next year.
The Italian outfit signed a contract with the Monegasque following an impressive début season with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team this year. He will be partnered alongside the veteran German World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Ocon told RaceFans.net: “I think Charles will fight for the title next year for sure. At least it won’t be a surprise to me.”
The Frenchman said he considers him to be one of the fastest drivers on the grid.
“I know him pretty well. The first race we race together was in 2005 in mini-karts we were seven, eight years old. And we were first and second and I was on the inside we crashed in the last corner of the last lap so he didn’t finish and I finished like sixth or seventh.
“This was the first time we met and all our career we’ve been fighting like this together.”
He added: “I knew he had a very good talent from day one. He’s one of the quickest guys out there. I think he will show that next year, definitely.”
Ocon has lost his seat in the sport for 2019, but is convinced drivers like Leclerc and new Aston Martin Red Bull Racing signing Pierre Gasly will show that there promise in signing those with limited experience.
“I think you will see that Pierre and Charles are going to fight for wins and podiums. Probably the mentality of Formula 1 is going to change with that, seeing that young drivers can do the job too.
“That’s going to only help the younger ones coming in,” said Ocon.