Antonio Giovinazzi has emerged on pole position to be Kimi Raikkonen's teammate at Sauber next year.
"It's no secret that I want to stay in Sauber, but I know the coming races will be very important for me," said the Swede.
Multiple authoritative media sources say that Italian Giovinazzi, the next best Ferrari junior in the Maranello team's development academy, will get the drive.
"Giovinazzi is a really good driver and a big talent," racing driver Toni Vilander, a Finnish F1 pundit, is quoted by as saying by Finland's Ilta Sanomat.
"Let's see how much Ericsson's dollars weigh or whether it will be Alfa Romeo taking more of the decision making power.
"It would be great if Giovinazzi's talent was to win over the other things."
Meanwhile, another Finnish pundit, former F1 driver Mika Salo, thinks that Monaco-born Leclerc could push Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari next year.
"If you look at Charles' career, he always controlled the situation," he told MTV.
"I do not expect him to struggle at Ferrari. I would not even be surprised if he was ahead of Sebastian."
The 2018 season continues on Sunday with the Singapore Grand Prix.