Charles Leclerc is unwilling to set any firm expectations for his debut Formula 1 season in 2018 with Sauber, but is sure the team's improved engine agreement with Ferrari will offer "a big step".

Ferrari youngster Leclerc will move up to F1 next year after winning the 2017 Formula 2 title in dominant fashion, partnering Marcus Ericsson at the rebranded Alfa Romeo Sauber team.

Sauber finished last in the F1 constructors' championship this year, scoring points in just two races, but was left hamstrung by a 2016-spec Ferrari power unit that was down on performance throughout the year.

Leclerc is confident that the revised engine deal that will see Sauber get a 2018 power unit will boost the team, but is still unsure about making any firm predictions before he hits the track for the first time in pre-season testing.

"I guess it’s quite hard to make them before you actually put your car on the track and see what it’s really worth," Leclerc said.

"In junior categories, you can expect something and target something, but in Formula 1 it’s a lot harder. The differences between the cars are bigger.

"We’ll see after the first test. As usual I’ll try to make the best work possible in the car, it’s difficult to expect something now.

"We have the new power unit, that should be a big step. Hopefully we can do also a step in the car.

"But it also depends on how big the step of the other teams will be. This we’ll have to see."


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