Charles Leclerc will not be as “accommodating” to Sebastian Vettel’s title charge as predecessor Kimi Raikkonen was, according to Formula One’s sporting chief Ross Brawn.
The 2018 rookie of the year was promoted from Sauber, with the announcement made midway through the season and sees Raikkonen go the other way.
Leclerc is one of the most promising youngsters on the grid and is expected to put together a title challenge next year, which could have a detrimental effect of Vettel’s own bid.
The German often got an easier ride from Raikkonen, who only won once during their partnership, and Brawn, who was part of Ferrari’s title success between 1997 and 2006, believes Vettel life is about to get a lot tougher.
“I don’t imagine Charles Leclerc is going to be quite as accommodating as Kimi was on occasions,” said Brawn in an interview on F1’s official 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.”
Vettel won the first two races of the season in Australia and Bahrain but only managed three more after that in a season which saw Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes dominate and take advantages of the 31-year-old’s on-track mistakes.
“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,” said Brawn of Vettel’s season.
“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.”