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2018 F1

Ferrari race seat ‘too early’ for Leclerc – Villeneuve

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Jacques Villeneuve thinks Ferrari is promoting Charles Leclerc too soon.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Maranello team has signed up the 20-year-old Sauber driver for 2019 and 2020, to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

“I think it’s too early for him,” 1997 world champion Villeneuve told Auto Bild in Austria.

“On the one hand Ferrari risks burning him, if he is beaten by Vettel. And on the other hand they need an experienced second driver, and Kimi Raikkonen is quite stable now.

“If Sebastian has to develop the car alone next year, that’s a disadvantage,” the Canadian added.

“I would give Leclerc another year to develop and learn.”

Villeneuve said there is also no reason for Ferrari to rush to sign up the obviously impressive Monaco-born rookie.

“He’s in Ferrari’s junior team anyway with a contract,” he said of Leclerc.

“So I don’t see any reason to rush him into the A team. Because really we don’t know how good he really is. He’s only had (Marcus) Ericsson as a yardstick.”

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