Leclerc decides against 2017 Macau return
Ferrari Formula 1 junior driver and newly crowned 2017 Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc will not compete at this year’s Macau Grand Prix, as recently rumoured.
The 19-year-old had been strongly tipped to race at the showpiece F3 event with Prema Powerteam, the outfit with which he clinched the F2 title at Jerez last weekend.
But Leclerc has now opted against racing for a second time in Macau – he finished second in his only career appearance at the event in 2015 – to focus on his three remaining F1 practice appearances for Sauber and the final F2 round of the season at Abu Dhabi.
Prema is locked in a battle with the DAMS and Russian Time squads for the 2017 F2 teams’ championship and currently holds just a two-point lead over the former, with the latter a further four adrift.
“I love Macau, I would love to do it – especially with the best team in Formula 3,” Leclerc told Motorsport.com.
“But with the FP1s I will do in Formula 1, I [will] also do Formula 2 [in Abu Dhabi] where I need to focus a lot and deliver until the end of the year because we have a team championship to win, which is also very important to me.
“To change categories too much is something I would like to avoid – to go from Formula 1 to Formula 3 to Formula 2.
“Then you get lost a little bit because all three cars are very different to drive and with quite a lot of power difference – there is something like 700hp difference between Formula 3 and Formula 1.
“I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to – my manager also thinks that it’s better I stay home – but I think it’s more reasonable for me to focus on not too many things and to just do well in the least things possible.”
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