Sauber team boss Fred Vasseur says he will continue to nurture young talent in the future through the Swiss outfit’s platform.
Through its partnership with Alfa Romeo, and beyond Ferrari, Sauber is now the de facto destination for the Scuderia’s juniors, with 2017 F2 champion Charles Leclerc the its most promising representative.
Vasseur watched the 20-year-old rise through the ranks and indeed guided his path when he raced with teh Sauber manager’s ART Grand Prix team in GP3
“I’ve known Charles since his karting days,” Vasseur told France’s Auto Hebdo.
“I’m happy because this is the first driver I’ve had in the junior categories that I now work with in F1.”
- Vasseur predicts ‘huge step’ for Sauber in 2018
Vasseur said Leclerc’s approach to his Friday duties last year was particular impressive.
“He did not miss a single debriefing,” he revealed.
“I will not mention anyone, but there were others who would have returned to the hotel. All the drivers are fast, but the champions have something else as well.”
While Vasseur believes Leclerc will shine in his first year in Formula 1, he also cats a positive view on Marcus Ericsson’s prospects as the Swede – often labeled a journeyman by pundits – undertakes his fifth year of Grand Prix racing.
“He seldom had good equipment so his chances were limited,” Vasseur told Switzerland’s Blick.
“But he was good in the last 10 grands prix. He has developed a lot, he is a team player and he gives good feedback.”
For the Sauber lineups of the future, however, Vasseur has high hopes.
“I have worked with young drivers for 20 years,” said the Frenchman.
“I am planning a junior academy at Sauber, probably from 2019,” he revealed. “But there must be real potential, as with Charles Leclerc.”
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