Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc is set to be placed in GP2 for the 2017 season, despite suggestions that he could be in line for a Formula 1 seat with Haas.
Leclerc, 19, joined the Ferrari Driver Academy at the beginning of 2016 after an impressive season in the FIA Formula 3 championship through 2015.
The Monegasque youngster was placed at Haas in a development role for 2016 by virtue of its technical partnership with Ferrari, and has taken part in three F1 practice sessions so far this year (Great Britain, Hungary, Germany). Another will come this weekend in Brazil.
Leclerc has also been racing in GP3 through 2016, and enters the final round of the year in Abu Dhabi with a 29-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Leclerc was linked with a possible move up to F1 for 2017 with Haas, but his inexperience was cited as a possible drawback.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has now confirmed that Leclerc is poised to move up to GP2 for 2017.
“Charles has done a good job for the team. He always did his program and he performed what we asked of him,” Steiner said.
“It’s always difficult when a driver is only in for FP1, but he’s very professional and has provided good feedback. We’ve been very happy with his contributions.
“He’s in GP3 at the moment and can win the title in Abu Dhabi. He’s got a season of GP2 coming up and we will see how far he can get.
“If he wins GP2 or is in the top-three in his first year of GP2, he will have a good future in front of him.”
Haas is poised to announce the signing of Kevin Magnussen from Renault in the coming days, with the Dane set to partner Romain Grosjean for 2017.