Vettel will find Leclerc less “accommodating” than Raikkonen, says Brawn | 2019 F1 season

Charles Leclerc won’t make life at Ferrari as easy for Sebastian Vettel as Kimi Raikkonen did, Formula 1’s managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn has predicted.

Brawn, who led Ferrari to championship success with Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s, suggested Raikkonen was more prepared to help Vettel than Leclerc might be.

“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.”

For the second year in a row Vettel led the early stages of the championship but ended the year second after being overhauled by Lewis Hamilton. Brawn believes his defeat was down to a combination of errors by the team and driver.

“Seb had a mixed 2018,” said Brawn. “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 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.”

However Brawn pointed out Leclerc will have to prove himself against a much tougher team mate than Marcus Ericsson in 2019.

“Leclerc has been pretty impressive. He’s not had a tough reference yet and that will come in 2019.

“Being at Ferrari brings enormous pressure and he’ll have the pressure of racing against a world champion, a multi-world champion, so he’s going to have a pretty challenging year. But from what I have seen so far, I expect him to do a very respectable job.”

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2019 F1 season

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