Leclerc in the hot seat for Silverstone

Charles Leclerc will get his chance with Banbury's Haas F1 Team
Charles Leclerc will get his chance with Banbury's Haas F1 Team

Charles Leclerc will get his first taste of a Formula One car when he drives the VF-16 for Haas F1 Team during the first practice session at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Ferrari Driver Academy member is currently competing in the GP3 Series for ART Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team driver Esteban Gutiérrez, a Ferrari Driver Academy alumnus, has relinquished his seat to allow Leclerc to obtain valuable Formula One experience.

Charles Leclerc is highly regarded by Ferrari and his record speaks for itself

Guenther Steiner

Following Silverstone, the 18-year-old Leclerc will reappear in FP1 sessions at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the German Grand Prix, the Malaysian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In each session, Leclerc will drive Haas F1 Team’s No. 21 car.

Leclerc, who won the season-opening GP3 Series race May 14 at Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get seat time in a Formula One car and I can’t thank Haas F1 Team and Esteban enough.

“This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula One driver.”

Leclerc has quickly risen through the karting ranks and into single-seat, open-wheel machines.

After winning 11 karting championships between 2005 and 2013, including an outright title in the 2012 WSK Euro Series Championship, Leclerc graduated to Formula Renault 2.0 in 2014, collecting a pole, two wins and nine podiums in 14 races.

In 2015, Leclerc moved to the FIA Formula 3 EuroSeries, earning three poles, four wins and 13 podiums in 33 races.

Team boss Guenther Steiner said: “Charles Leclerc is highly regarded by Ferrari and his record speaks for itself. We’re happy to provide this opportunity and help develop the next generation of Formula One drivers.

“Credit also goes to Esteban for sharing his car and serving as a mentor.”