Juniors need to prove F1 worth - Arrivabene
7 September 2017 – Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene says junior drivers Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi need to prove themselves further down the Formula 1 grid, before they are considered by the marque.
Ferrari has both Leclerc and Giovinazzi on its books, with the runaway F2 title leader part of its Academy, and Giovinazzi, last year's GP2 runner-up, its official reserve driver.
Leclerc and Giovinazzi were outside contenders for a 2018 Ferrari seat, before the team ultimately opted to retain Kimi Räikkönen to partner Sebastian Vettel.
Arrivabene wants the youngsters to prove themselves elsewhere on the Formula 1 grid before making the step to Ferrari.
"Talking about the young drivers, they are growing," explained Arrivabene.
"Our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us – this is the final goal.
"But, before that, they need to demonstrate in Formula 1 that they deserve it."
Giovinazzi is in the middle of a Friday practice programme with Haas, but his 2018 options appear limited, due to the team's decision to continue fielding Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Leclerc, meanwhile, has been heavily linked with Sauber, which has yet to confirm its 2018 driver line-up, and is set to conduct five FP1 sessions at the team across the rest of the season.
Sauber is expected to form closer ties with Ferrari, having cancelled its planned Honda deal to return to using the marque's current-year engines, as opposed to the year-old units it has used in 2017.
When asked whether the Sauber/Ferrari partnership could extend to drivers, new team boss Frédéric Vasseur said: "First of all, the deal is based on the powertrain.
"That means it's the engine and the gearbox, and then we will discuss together the fact that we could extend the deal on another parameter for some other parts.
"On the driver point of view, I think that if it's regarding Charles, for example, I think he has to be focused on the Formula 2 championship.
"There are still a couple of races to go and it's a bit too early to discuss about this. I hope we will have the discussion at some stage!
"But I think, to be honest, even for Charles, it's [a 2018 race deal] a bit too early to put it on the table."