Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc wins 2017 F2 title with three races to spare
The 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship favourite Charles Leclerc sealed the title after winning the Feature race in the penultimate round at Jerez.
Starting from pole, the Ferrari junior saw-through the early challenge and a late safety car period on worn tyres to win ahead of title rival Oliver Rowland by a mere 0.230s.
The Monegasque has been sublime all through the season in the Prema Powerteam's car, given whatever the situation he is in during the races.
With a total of 247 points to go with eight poles and six wins, Leclerc was able to secure the title with three races to go still in the 2017 season.
After shining as a rookie in the FIA European Formula 3 Series in 2015 finishing fourth, Leclerc dominated the GP3 Series in 2016 again as a rookie - winning it ahead of ART teammate Alexander Albon.
The Ferrari youngster continued his fine run in the F2 championship also as a rookie, coupling it with an extensive simulator work for the Italian manufacturer.
Leclerc became the second-ever champion from Prema in the immediate ladder to Formula 1, after Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly achieved the feat last year. He is the first to win both GP3 and F2 titles in back-to-back years.
While there is still three races to go in the season, Leclerc is already running FP1 sessions with Sauber in F1 and has been widely tipped to secure a race seat with the Swiss outfit for the 2018 season.
When asked by Giedo van Garde on the podium if F1 in 2018 will be his next step, the young driver smiled and said 'hopefully'.