Charles Leclerc will not be as accommodating toward Sebastian Vettel as Kimi Raikkonen was in recent years, according to Formula 1’s head of motorsports Ross Brawn.
Vettel has only had Raikkonen as a teammate at Ferrari, comfortably getting the better of their internal battle over their four seasons together. While Raikkonen was closer to Vettel’s level this season, Ferrari opted to replace the Finn with Leclerc (pictured above) and Brawn believes Vettel’s new teammate will provide a stronger challenge in 2019.
“I don’t imagine Charles Leclerc is going to be quite as accommodating as Kimi was on occasions,” Brawn told the official F1 website. “Kimi is his own man, don’t get me wrong, but I think Kimi knew what the lay of the land was in the team.”
Brawn added that Vettel will need to work with Ferrari to understand why a number of opportunities were missed last season, but warned against trying to make dramatic changes after delivering such a strong car.
“Seb had a mixed 2018. He’s had some very good performances and played a big part in taking the team forward, but in the end, Seb and the team didn’t deliver. They had a strong year but they have got to make that next step and deliver – and that’s Seb and the team.
“I don’t know the dynamic or chemistry in the team or Seb’s relationship in the team or how that all works. He made one or two errors, which is unfortunate but with drivers, that can happen. The team seemed to make a wrong turn technically for several races and then they came back again to an older spec which corrected their form.
“As a driver you have to be involved with those things — you can’t be a neutral passenger. I recall when I was at Ferrari, if we had something we were uncertain about, Michael (Schumacher) would be banging my door down to talk about it and spend time with the engineers and work until he got himself comfortable with what was going on. That motivates a team and can be a catalyst for people to look at things in a different way or different perspective.
“The difference between success and failure is often down to small things. I don’t think he or the team need to change things dramatically, they just need that final bit of polish to get [over] the line.”