Charles Leclerc says he will be "eternally grateful" to the Ferrari Formula 1 team after the Scuderia provided him with a "dream" drive for 2019. 

Ferrari confirmed the 20-year-old Monegasque will replace Kimi Raikkonen from next season on Tuesday, with the 2007 world champion rejoining Sauber in a straight driver swap on a two-year deal. 

An impressive start to his F1 career has seen Leclerc record five points finishes so far this season, prompting Ferrari to take a bold gamble and promote its highly-rated protege alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for next year. 

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"Dreams do come true, I'll be driving for Ferrari for the 2019 F1 World Championship," Leclerc said in a post on Twitter. "I will be eternally grateful to Ferrari for the opportunity given.

"To Nicolas Todt for supporting me since 2011. To my family [and] to a person that is not part of this world anymore but to whom I owe everything of what is happening to me, Papa," he added. 

"To Jules, thank you for all the things you learnt me, we will never forget you, and to all the persons that supported me and believed in me, I will work harder than ever to not disappoint you.

"But first, there is a season to finish with an amazing team that gave me the opportunity to fight and show my potential. Let's go Sauber." 

Leclerc rose through the Ferrari junior ranks at a rapid and impressive rate, securing back-to-back titles in GP3 and Formula 2 before graduating to F1 this season. Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur congratulated his outgoing driver for his impressive career step.

“It has been a great pleasure to support Charles Leclerc in his rookie year in Formula 1," Vasseur said. "Since his arrival, he has given the team great motivation.

"We have constantly improved and we will work hard until the end of this season to achieve the best possible results together.

"We are aware of Charles’ talent and are confident that he will have a bright future. We will keep on following him closely and we wish him the best on his path.”

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