Leclerc, a junior Ferrari driver, is being tipped to enter Formula 1 next season on the back of what is proving to be an incredible Formula 2 campaign for the Frenchman who is leading the standings.
But while there was some suggestion that he could go straight into the Ferrari team that ended when the Italian outfit announced that Raikkonen would stay on in 2018.
Leclerc, though, hasn’t been disheartened by the Finn’s re-signing as he reckons Sauber could be his first F1 destination come next season.
“I was expecting Kimi to do another year in Formula 1,” he told Autosport.
“He deserves it and that’s the way it is.
“I’m still quite young, to be in Ferrari straightaway [in my] first year would be quite a big jump.
“I hope to be in the Sauber seat next year, we’ll see how things go.
“For now I’m fully focusing on Formula 2 and then we’ll see at the end of the year about opportunities.”