MEDIABALAP.com – Multiple reports are surfacing that Indonesian Sean Gelael will replace newly-crowned Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc at Prema Racing for the 2018 season.
Leclerc wrapped up the title with three races to go with a victory in the feature race at Jerez over rival Oliver Rowland. The Monegasque driver is tipped for Formula 1 promotion with Sauber next year, following its recently-renewed deal with Ferrari.
According to reports, Gelael will be one of Prema’s drivers next season. The 20-year-old, who is taking part in a number of F1 practice sessions with Toro Rosso, has raced in F2/GP2 for the last two and a half seasons.
From 51 starts, Gelael has scored points on six occasions including a second-place finish at The Red Bull Ring in 2016.
Gelael receives a hefty amount of backing from his father, Ricardo. His Jagonya Ayam scheme also supports a number of F2/GP3 drivers.
Among them is McLaren junior Nyck de Vries and Ferrari’s Giuliano Alesi. Both are believed to be in the mix for a Prema seat, with the former’s previous experience in the series promoting him to the prime candidate.
Current Prema driver Antonio Fuoco is also not out of the picture after a resurgence of form in the second half of the season; four podiums in the last six races.
Lando Norris had been previously odds-on favourite for a move to Prema’s F2 squad but according to Autosport, those talks have now broken down due to Lawrence Stroll vetoing the move.
Consequently, Norris looks likely to join ART Grand Prix with George Russell, who won this year’s GP3 title with the French squad, alongside him.
DAMS appears to be the alternative destination for Norris with the likes of Jack Aitken, Luca Ghiotto and Sergio Sette Camara all linked with the DAMS drive.
Meanwhile, Alex Palou seems to be closing in on a full-time debut next season after a successful maiden outing at Jerez with Campos Racing. (www.msn.com/waw)