Haas F1 team has announced that development driver Charles Leclerc will make five free practice appearances across the second half of the 2016 Formula One season, starting at the British Grand Prix.
The Monegasque recently completed the mandatory 300 kilometres to secured a practice only superlicence, after piloting a 2014-spec F14 T at Fiorano.
Leclerc will replace Esteban Gutierrez at Silverstone before reappearing in FP1 sessions in Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, and Abu Dhabi.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get seat time in a Formula One car and I can’t thank Haas F1 Team and Esteban enough,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m honored by the faith Haas F1 Team and Ferrari have in me. This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula One driver.”
Having finished as the highest-placed rookie in the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European championship, Leclerc was added to the revamped Ferrari Driver Academy ahead of the current season.
Besides his F1 commitment, he is also contesting this year’s GP3 Series with reigning champions ART Grand Prix, and currently leading the Drivers’ standings after winning on debut in Barcelona.
Commenting upon the announcement, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner added: “Charles Leclerc is highly regarded by Ferrari and his record speaks for itself.
“We’re happy to provide this opportunity and help develop the next generation of Formula One drivers. Credit also goes to Esteban for sharing his racecar and serving as a mentor to Charles.”