Formula 1: Has Charles Leclerc taken the lead in the Ferrari sweepstakes?

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SHANGHAI, CHINA – APRIL 14: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team C37 Ferrari (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

With his sixth place finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, is Charles Leclerc now the favorite to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Scuderia Ferrari in the 2019 Formula 1 season?

Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Charles Leclerc is one of the three of the top candidates to replace 38-year-old Kimi Raikkonen at Scuderia Ferrari in the 2019 Formula 1 season if the team end up not offering him another contract beyond the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Is the 20-year-old member of the Ferrari Driver Academy now the leader of the Ferrari sweepstakes after his impressive sixth place finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was only his fourth career Formula 1 race?

Leclerc’s sixth place finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was the highest finish for a Sauber driver since Felipe Nasr finished in sixth in the 2015 Russian Grand Prix. Leclerc’s sixth place finish is tied for the highest finish by a Sauber driver with Nasr’s sixth place finish in that race since Nasr finished in fifth in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, which was his first career Formula 1 race.

Sauber’s drivers racked up a total of seven points in the 2016 season and the 2017 season. With Marcus Ericsson’s solid ninth place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier this season, their drivers had racked up a total of nine points since the start of the 2016 season (and really since the 16th race of the 19-race 2015 season) coming into the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Leclerc just scored eight points in that race alone.

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