Leclerc: Formula 1 seat still ‘just a dream’


Charles Leclerc has said it was a "great honour" to drive for Ferrari at the Hungary test, but is not getting carried away amid speculation of a place on the 2018 grid.

The Formula 2 leader has been tipped to join Sauber next year after the Swiss team extended their partnership with Ferrari and, on his first time inside a Formula 1 car, the 19-year-old topped the timesheets on Day 1 ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Valtteri Bottas.

“Driving a Ferrari is never a ‘normal’ experience,” Leclerc via via the official Ferrari website.

"I felt as though I was driving a race car for the very first time. It’s a great honour I have been accorded and I thank Ferrari with all my heart for this opportunity. I am pleased with the work I did and I hope the team is too.

"Driving the SF70H was a fantastic feeling and coming from F2, it’s a whole other world, from every point of view. It was the first time that I’ve driven a Formula 1 car with the wider tyres and this level of aerodynamic downforce and it was an incredible feeling.

"I also learned a lot from the work in the garage: Ferrari has the best engineers in the world and I felt very comfortable working with them. To set the fastest time is nice, but, in testing, its importance is only relative.

"I can now go on holiday in a happy mood, before concentrating on the second part of the F2 season. For the moment, Formula 1 is just a dream. I still have work to do and I know that: one step at a time."

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will split the morning and afternoon sessions between them for Ferrari on the second and final day of testing.