Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel and the Maranello team need to “step it up” and find improvements in order to have any chance of beating Mercedes in 2019, according to Nico Rosberg.
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari led the 2018 standings at the half-way stage but a string of driver errors and operational failures enabled Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes to capitalise and ultimately triumph to both championships.
Rosberg, who beat former Mercedes teammate Hamilton to the 2016 title before retiring from the sport, believes the Italian squad must avoid a repeat of last year’s mistakes if it is to end Mercedes’ current run of success in the V6 hybrid era.
“He needs to improve and the team needs to improve overall,” Rosberg told Sky Sports at during a promotional filming event. – “They just had too many mistakes last year because possibly they should have won it. They’ve made some major changes. They’ve changed [former team principal Maurizio] Arrivabene and put in [Mattia] Binotto, so they’ve made a change in the highest position there.
“Also Leclerc, that could also be a very, very positive dynamic – but it could also be negative and backfire. So it’s going to be awesome to watch. They just need to step it up, but they can do it. It’s going to be great to follow again.”
Fellow Sky Sports F1 pundit and 2009 world champion Jenson Button echoed Rosberg’s comments, arguing that Charles Leclerc’s arrival could force Vettel into a “tough decision” over his future.