2018 sees the much talked about Charles Leclerc make his debut in F1 in the Sauber. Its fair to say there is a good bit of excitement around that. He was born in October 1997 (no really) in Monaco and does race under the Monegasque flag. He was a childhood friend of the late Jules Bianchi. His father Herve Leclerc was also a racing driver, taking part in Formula 3 but unfortunately passed away last year at 54. I'm sure both these connections will make his F1 debut a bit bittersweet as they both should be there. I first saw Leclerc racing in European F3 and instantly made a joke about Napoleon's brother-in-law and General of the same name. As soon as I made the joke I realised not many people know who that is and therefore the joke is not funny. However because I don't know when to quit I sent a tweet to Will Buxton saying for this reason we should nickname him 'The General'. This tweet was liked by Charles Leclerc himself and therefore not only does that mean it is now his official nickname but also, in true Ted Kravitz style, makes him a close personal friend of mine. To be honest I'm a bit surprised I'm not being flown out to Australia as a VIP. Leclerc was good to watch in F3 and had an instant unfriendly rivalry with George Russell. When he moved to GP3 I thought he'd be a contender but not win first time out. He proved me wrong and took the title against stiff opposition in Alexander Albon. When he moved into F2 I thought he would probably mix it up with the front runners but wouldn't be in contention in his first year. He proved me wrong and completely wiped the floor with everyone becoming the first person to win both GP3 and F2. So now he comes to F1 you can see why I'm very reluctant to make predictions. Logic says that in a Sauber he should be in the bottom half of the results most of the time but pull off the odd great drive. Logic doesn't always work though and it will be really interesting to see how he does. There is no doubt he has the talent and the skill but there is a lot of expectation on him and he is up against a team mate who no one rates but isn't actual as bad as people think he is. You only have to look at the match up between Ericsson and Wherlein in Quali last year to see that Marcus is no slouch when he is on it. Ericsson is seen as a pay driver (so he should be his backers basically own the team) but lets not forget in his junior formula days he was seen as a big talent. Leclerc's main problem in the long term in F1 is the big glass ceiling he is about to hit. He is young, trendy and talented right now but there are no top seats available. If one does not become available in the next year or so then the buzz around him wears off and the next bright young thing will steel in and get that seat when it comes around. You only have to talk to Nico Hulkenberg if you want to know more. As he is backed by Ferrari many see him as a made replacement for Kimi but, if he is as good as we think, I can't for the life of me see Vettel approving him coming to the team. Maybe thats his tactic - try and appear mediocre at Sauber so Vettel will have him as number 2 and then turn it on big time. I'm really excited to see how he does and I really hope that Sauber is more on the pace so he can mix it up some.