Monday, 14 may 2018, 14:48 , by Matthew Scott
After consecutive points-scoring grands prix, Charles Leclerc believes Sauber is the perfect proving ground for him to earn his "big dream" of a race seat at Ferrari. After holding off two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to finish sixth in Azerbaijan, Leclerc grabbed the final point-paying place in Spain.
Leclerc's stock has risen considerably in the past two years, in which he has won the GP3 and F2 titles.
The Ferrari junior driver has been given his first taste of F1 at Sauber, who are engine customers of the Scuderia and have entered into a technical partnership with Alfa Romeo.
Still just 20-years-old, Leclerc is widely expected to make the step up to Ferrari, perhaps as early as next season if Kimi Raikkonen is not retained.
"I think this is very important for me. But more than for Ferrari it is for me," Leclerc said of his impressive start in F1.
"It's what this year is about, we know that for now we don't have the performance to fight for points every weekend but we know that when the occasion is there we need to grab it with both hands and not making any stupid errors.
"This is what we did in Baku and I am very happy. Obviously there will be some bad races and some that are worse but this is how it is.
"Hopefully we will have the chance to score more points throughout the season but I think it will be all about grabbing the occasion when it is there.
"To be honest for now I don't think about Ferrari, it is still so far and there is so much time. I definitely believe that Alfa Romeo Sauber is the right team for me to start with.
"I need to work and keep getting better and improving and hopefully get the opportunity to go to a bigger team and one day my final dream is to be in the red car, if this can happen it will be a dream come true."