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2019 F1

Leclerc-Raikkonen rumours heat up in France

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Charles Leclerc seems destined to move into a Ferrari seat for 2019.

Speculation is now rife that the Italian team intends to part with 38-year-old Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the year and call up its junior driver from Sauber.

At Paul Ricard, the highly rated rookie Leclerc, 20, qualified eighth in his Sauber, just two places behind Raikkonen.

“I cannot find words,” the Monaco-born driver told Sky Italia.

“It was like starting from scratch because we totally changed the car. I knew what I wanted and the engineers understood what I needed.

“I cannot believe this eighth place, it’s magical,” Leclerc added.

As for the rumours of a 2019 Ferrari seat, he said only: “I am focused only on now, but I am inspired by Sebastian (Vettel).”

Finn Raikkonen is also being coy amid the speculation.

“There is always a lot of talk every year, and now it’s happening again,” he said.

“You’d have to ask those people who write these things. It’s not really my concern,” Raikkonen added.

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