Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel doubts there will be any issues working with Charles Leclerc as his new teammate for the 2019 Formula One season, having not had to “deal with any bulls**t” while racing alongside Kimi Raikkonen for the past four seasons.
Following an impressive rookie season in F1 with Sauber, the Maranello team confirmed back in September that Charles Leclerc would be replacing Kimi Raikkonen for the 2019 championship, racing alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. The German driver enjoyed a harmonious working relationship with Raikkonen from the start of 2015 to the end of last season, but also consistently outperformed his teammate through all four seasons. Vettel took 13 race wins in that period, compared to Raikkonen’s single victory at the 2018 United States Grand Prix.
Asked if he expected to come under more pressure from 21-year-old Leclerc next year, Vettel said he doubted there would be any great changes in the team dynamic at Ferrari: “I think it doesn’t matter who you are racing in the team, you always try to win, and that means you also beat whoever is driving with you in the same team. So I don’t think that changes,” Vettel said – “Obviously Charles is different to Kimi, so we will see how it goes, but I think he’s a good kid. One thing for sure that I enjoyed a lot in the last years is the mutual respect that we have for each other. I think we never had to deal with any bulls**t between ourselves, so that made it easier for me, easier for him I guess and easier for the team. But I’m not expecting anything in that direction from Charles. I think he’s a good kid. Obviously the team knows him very well for a while now, since he’s grown in the Ferrari Drivers Academy. [I’m] happy for him, and then we’ll see how it works out.” – Seb explained.
Charles Leclerc enjoyed his first running as a Ferrari F1 race driver in Abu Dhabi last week, outpacing Vettel’s time set on the previous day by three-tenths of a second.