Ferrari thinking ahead with Leclerc move
Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari decided to bring in Charles Leclerc with the team's "long-term" future in mind.
The Scuderia decided to part company with former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, 38, in order to hand 20-year-old Leclerc a seat for 2019.
Team principal Arrivabene believes the youngster, who is a Ferrari academy graduate, has great potential but indicated he isn't necessarily expecting instant success for the current Sauber man.
“When you make choices like this, that are related to the driver, you don’t only have to make a short-term commitment but a long-term one,” Arrivabene told reporters ahead of Sunday's Singapore GP.
“We are not only looking ahead to next year, we are looking into the future, that being the future of the team.
“This was a decision taken by me, discussed with the top management and taking into consideration many, many factors. It has nothing to do with the respect I have for Kimi as both a human being and as a driver.
“If you have to make a choice about the future of the team then I think we made the right one for us and for Kimi, who we appreciate for everything he has done for us and wish him the best for the future.”
Raikkonen will head in the opposite direction and join Sauber for the 2019 campaign.
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.