Leclerc promoted to Ferrari for 2019, Raikkonen rejoins Sauber F1 Team
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Editor   |  11 Sep 2018   |  10:14 am GMT  |  455 comments

After just one season in the sport, Charles Leclerc will race for Ferrari in 2019, whilst Kimi Raikkonen will extend his career and drive for the Sauber F1 team, it has been confirmed.

With the 2007 world champion’s future once again being one of the main talking points of Formula One’s ‘silly season’, Ferrari have revealed that they will not be retaining Raikkonen for the 2019 season and have promoted their development driver Leclerc, who has enjoyed an impressive first Formula One season at the Sauber team.

Following championship-winning campaigns in GP3 and Formula Two, Leclerc earned a promotion Sauber for 2018.

Heavily out-performing team-mate Marcus Ericsson, Leclerc has shone at the Swiss team, making three Q3 appearances and taking points finishes in five races, including a sixth-place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

His impressive form earned the support of former Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who was keen to give the second Ferrari seat to the Monegasque driver.

However, Marchionne’s death earlier in the year threatened to derail Leclerc’s likely promotion, but those in charge of Ferrari have decided to obey Marchionne’s wishes and take a chance on the 20-year-old.

Effectively in a swap deal, Raikkonen will rejoin Sauber on a two-year deal, the team with which the Finn made his Formula One debut back in 2001.

“Signing Kimi Raikkonen as our driver represents an important pillar of our project, and brings us closer to our target of making significant progress as a team in the near future,” said Sauber team principal Frédéric Vasseur.

“Kimi’s undoubted talent and immense experience in Formula One will not only contribute to the development of our car, but will also accelerate the growth and development of our team as a whole.

“Together, we will start the 2019 season with a strong foundation, driven by the determination to fight for results that count.”

Raikkonen is Ferrari’s second-longest serving Formula One driver (after Michael Schumacher), having two spells at the team.

His first stint from 2007-2009 was by far his most successful. He took nine wins and his one-and-only world championship triumph in a dramatic 2007 season.

He took time out of the sport in 2010 and 2011 before returning with Lotus in 2012, taking two wins in a two-year period before rejoining Ferrari in 2014.

In that time he’s taken 23 podiums (as of Italy 2018) and two pole positions, but has so far failed to stand on the top step of the podium since his last win with Lotus at the 2013 Australian GP.

In a statement, Ferrari paid tribute to Raikkonen’s contributions to the team both on and off the track.

“Scuderia Ferrari announces that, at the end of the 2018 season, Kimi Raikkonen will step down from his current role.

“During these years, Kimi’s contributions to the team, both as a driver and on account of his human qualities, has been fundamental. He played a decisive role in the team’s growth and was, at the same time, always a great team player.

“As a world champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the team’s history and family. We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future.”

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

What do you think of Leclerc’s promotion? Do you think Raikkonen should’ve extended his stay in Formula One? Leave your comments in the section below.

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1

Changing the tread it’s doesn’t mean it works 70years ago its still working as today need Simulator they learned pretty fast good to Charles also to Kimi

2

So Leclerc in the Ferrari after all. And immediately he’s showing more entitlement than Verstappen ever did – with Max it was more the ‘Umfeld’ who pronounced the expectation of him becoming the youngest world champion. I guess Charles is already closer to the great goal than Max, he’s gonna be in a great car. Max missed the Mercedes boat twice: at the very beginning when he could have joined the Merc family, and last year when he was hot property and should at least have tried to get the seat next to Hamilton. F1 is an unfair and tilted business – just ask Ocon, another driver whom I rate higher than Leclerc for the time being. Anyway, we’ll see what Leclerc amounts to. To begin with he celebrated his promotion with a nice crash in FP1.

3

I like Hamilton’s coolness and talent, Ric’s racing prowess and calculation, Kimi’s antics and racing, Leclercs talent, persona and potential… Now, that aside. The authors and journalists of this great site. May i please ask; why not write an article of why Ricciardo, having Italian roots, having a great marketing potential and racing prowess COULD NOT get a drive at Ferrari? All fan theories aside – which most make sense and are probably true. For the record and hypothesis, politics, policies and driver clauses. Why didn’t Ric get a drive at Ferrari? I’m sure there are some fans here that would like to know coming from Luke, James or “The Editor”. Did Ric see Kimi’s move yo Sauber. Are Hamilton and Vettel scared? Did Ric ask for too much money? Was Mr. Wolff weary of Danny’s massive smile? Did Mr. Marchione prefer Leclerc’s chin? Is Danny just a crap driver under the stats and data? Does Vettel have a clause : “No Ric’s or Danny’s or big smiley guys as my team mate or else”. Why couldn’t Danny Ric get a drive at Ferrari?!?

4

I think Daniel Ric’s in a great situation. His contract aligns with Hamilton’s and Vettel’s and if one of them leaves or underdelivers, Ric will not be passed over by either Ferrari or Merc as their no.1 driver. He just has to outperform Hulkenberg and take the Renault to positions it does not belong ala Alonso at Ferrari and he will make his name glow even brighter. He is still young, fast and obviously very talented.

I do believe, however, that Ric has to show a meaner and take-no-prisoner attitude to impress even more. He is too nice and too jovial sometimes.

It will be really interesting how he handles Nico eventually, seeing that they are pretty chummy. He needs to just think of himself now and strategize for a top drive. No more Mr. Nice Guy. He let Max off too many times. He should take a page out of Hamilton, Vettel and Fernando when it comes to handling teammates. They are alphas; savages who gain alot of respect from team principals. Time to put away that Colgate smile, Danny.

5

I would have thought that’s obvious. Seb wouldn’t have him, and still had some say. He would rather have kept Kimi, who he felt he had under his wing. The new guy’s good, so is an unknown quantity. But still better than Danny, who really dominated him in their only season together.

6

It could be as simple as Ferrari have invested a lot in LeClerc already, throughout his junior career. Why would they put all that money and effort into LeClerc, just to shelve him and turn around and give even more money to Dan? Especially when LeClerc has shown genuine promise.

What’s the point in any team having a young driver program if they’re going to pass over promising drivers from their own program just to head hunt top drivers from other teams?

7

Maybe because he said some time ago that he might not ever win a championship. Karma may have listened?

Joking aside, if you were Ferrari, would you accept Ricciardo when Vettel is still there? Common sense. And if so, why would take Ricci when Leclerc, a Ferrari protege, looks so promising?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Ricci, but his one lap speed in quali is not there. If you accept that Max had too much bad luck, then you can accept that Ricci had too when was beaten by Kvyat and if I am not wrong Verne.

In short, it was not to be and Ricci knows that.

8

Probably because at Ferrari they think Vettel is as strong as Ric, or the difference in a way or another is negligible and they may think that Leclerc has more potential than both even on short term.

9

Fantastic question, I too would be keen to find out more. Either way, I feel that DR is going to be one of the “if only’s” of his generation. His potential will go unfilled because being one of four or five top drivers competing for a competitive seat in an era where only three teams can realistically win and each of those has or is building itself around one of his competitors.

10

I like a win win situation for both teams I say?.Kimi can develop the Sauberinto better car and Leclerc can put pressure on Vettle or even surprise a few people out there with his driving skill eg(max at Redbull). But I don’t understand why F1 doesn’t allow teams to have 3 cars? This will be allowed teams to have upcoming drivers to race and more important put more cars on the grid(30 cars oh yea!!!)This wouldn’t cost the team too much to do and I believe will make better racing. Also with more cars, then F1 can tickling race weekend a bit? Maybe more racing during the weekend then usually practice and qfl?We fans want to see more racing not this practice crap?maybe qfl on the first day and a sprint race on the second day and third day the main race???

11

Wow what a lot of fuss, Seb has a new number two, big deal.

12

I had been wondering how Ferrari would exercise power and control over Raikkonen for the rest of this year when it appeared that he was on his way out of F1 altogether. I believe that particular question has been answered now. Send him to slave team for two years for pacification purposes. Some seem to never know when to walk away with head held high! Disappointing!

13

He is going out with 5 mils per year.

14

This is absolute bobbins by Ferrari. If they are more serious and ambitious about winning the WCC and WDC titles, they should have hired Daniel ricciardo instead of Charles leclerc. However Ferrari has exhibited clear lack of ambition by signing leclerc, Ferrari simply went for another dutiful NO 2 who wouldn’t perturb vettel or upset the applecart within the team. Besides kimi raikkonen has always accepted the NO 2 role and performed to the that standards. His only championship was more of dote presented to him by massa.

Raikkonen has done run-of the mill job as Ferrari’s second driver. Ferrari has gone for the cheaper option by offering the second seat to leclerc and this is huge wager for the team. Leclerc may crumble under pressure and would do a vandoorne at Ferrari or he’d just score as many points as raikkonen have managed to score in his second bout with Ferrari, if anything leclerc would be dream option that vettel could’ve wished for. At best leclerc will be another valtteri bottas for Ferrari. This is very much Mercedes-bottas esque scenario at Ferrari

15

Delighted for F1 and Leclerc. Not sure whether Kimi made the right call. I really enjoy seeing him happy and enjoying life (as if he’s almost a completely diffrent Kimi to 10 years ago) but at the age of 39, wouldn’t retirement have been a better call?

16

Ferrari could have won the championship this year.

But the won’t.

As I wrote during pre-season testing, if they messed and otherwise compromised Kimi’s racing, they would fail.

They are failing, I think because of it, and they will fail.

And they deserve it.

What happened?!

Kimi got too close, and Vettel simply cannot stand to be challenged.

Make no mistake about it, Kimi has been on the team because of Vettel, up until now, and he is being ejected, because of Vettel (who keeps on making unforced errors).

When Kimi beat him in qualifying,and Vettel said, ‘we’ll talk about it”, or something, that was the wake up call.

When Vettel, was challenged, and then choked in the drag race to the corner, first trying to beat Kimi, which compromised his line of defense against the fast-off-the-line Lewis, and then made a complete mess of it, he had to blame someone he could put the hate on, and it was Kimi.

From that moment, Kimi’s fate was sealed.

I never got around to posting about the race, but, once again, Ferrari INFERIOR strategy call destroyed Kimi (and Ferrari’s) chance of victory.

The cars were evenly matched; too bad we will never know if Vettel could have ‘sailed into the distance’ to paraphrase our host; we’ll never know; get over it; but the assertion once again reminds of the overwhelming media bias against Kimi.

On that, I read the opening lines of motorsport’s Scott Mitchell, “… disproportionately popular… … one of the great puzzles… …the most underwhelming recent records…”.

Just what did Kimi do to offend the lords of the media? It must be big, yet it is unapparent to the uninitiated.

I believe that in the little degrading, runty little appendix of a country, you refer to this as “tosh?!”

Anyhow, MMC or not, I won’t be so displeased, to see the master of manipulation, herr Tonto, from winning it this year, and Lewy beating Vettel to the 5.

Ferrari deserves what they’re getting, they blew it.

17

Huh? You must have been watching a very different F1 than me for the past few seasons… I know this might be hard for those in the Kimi fan club to take but he has not been good enough. He has been completely outshone by both Alonso and Vettel. As much as you’d like to believe that it is only happening because Ferrari are holding him back (with little evidence to support this theory) I myself am amazed that Ferrari have kept hold of him for as long as they have. I think it is only because of his relationship with Vettel that I believe is the reason he is still there.

18

ferrari paid raikkonen to keep him out of f1 while alonso drove for them only to pay him to return. why do you think they didn’t want raikkonen to drive for rival teams?

19

you might be right about you and I not seeing the same thing, or, you are here specifically to promote the agenda assigned to you.

I represent myself, and my own views.

if you don’t see the complex, convoluted political machinations in F1, I do wonder about what you have been watching, if you do indeed represent your own self

20

Pity, the garbo’s have just left! More tosh.

21

Kimi is a humble, plain-spoken man of few words who does not actively seek the limelight and usually goes out of his way to avoid it. How many people in the media could be similarly described? So it’s no mystery the two camps have rarely gotten along better than oil and water.

22

I think Ferrari had made the decision before monza but did not want any backlash from the Tifosi. The givaway was the normally ice cool Minttu displaying emotion when Kimi stuck it on pole!

23

I write this again

Unfortunately for F1 there will never be a driver so beloved regardless of nationality that KR is and has been. (Senna and a few more but they were never so disliked if not hated by the media)

The only singular group that seams to have a thorn in their side when it comes to this particular driver is/are the media

24

Ferrari deserves what they’re getting, they blew it.

So is it a MMC or is it not ?

25

great question!

look at the standings.

26

@Dean

But it’s you that keeps saying that it’s all a con and that Merc are just toying with the opposition. Then you contradict yourself by saying Ferrari have blown it by not backing Kimi . It can’t be both can it . So what are you saying, is it a MMC or not ?

27

Many people still does not take in to account that this reincarnation of a Alfa Romeo team, next year will be very competitive, likely better than Haas, Force India or Renault, McLaren we don’t even go there.

Unless Honda comes out with a miracle engine, Alfa Romeo will probably scraps with the Red Bulls.

It will not be a bad place for Raikkonen.

28

There is a petition on change.org that some fan put up urging Ferrari to not make a misstake.

I just poped in to see what it was and it’s still ticking. It has close to 100.000 signes, in just a few days. Amazing I have never seen anything like this, not in F1. That is a tribute from fans from all over the world that is really beatiful I must say

29

Dump Vettel and have Kimi and Leclerc as the racers. Vettel can only win when he has the absolute best car and a lot of luck. He can’t race. He used to be called the crash kid. He managed to escape that tag thanks to Mr Newey and preferential treatment……….but he is about as good as nando……lucky to get a trick car but nothing more.

30

WDC/WCC would have already been done and dusted by now, if that was the case right now

31

What a load of nonsense. Kimi is past, how many victories?

32

You are a telecommarketers Dream buddy. Keep buying your BS, they live on you, so i’m glad we got our economy floating thanks to the likes of you. Thank you!

33

Vettel has won a few races this year but Kimi hasn’t so why would they keep him on when he can’t ‘win when he has the absolute best car’?

34

Did you sign it?

35

Yup.

36

What does this do for the WDC NOW? I’m sure Iceman’s gonna wanna win now that he has exiled himself to podiumlessland for the next two years. Maybe this deal is responsible for his current uptick in form….makes sense now when Vettel sez he’s racing three cars

37

Actually think it may be better for Kimi to leave F1, but, probably better for Sauber he is going there… he did really well with the Lotus for 2 years. Let’s hope he can get that sort of form back…

So, how are the 20 x seats now looking?

Ferrari – Vettel & Leclerc

Mercedes – Hamilton & Bottas

Red Bull – Verstappen & Gasly

Renault – Ricciardo & Hulkenberg

McLaren – Sainz & Norris

The rest, apart from Sauber are completely open (maybe not RP Force India)?

So, that is 9 seats in total. But, 13 drivers to choose from. Current drivers minus Alonso (out of F1) & Raikkonen (in at Sauber), plus, Kubica, Kvyat, Giovanazzi & Russell.

Who should be out? 4 won’t get seats.

Looking like:

Force India – Stroll & Perez

Haas – Grosjean & Magnussen

(Romain had a bad start to the year, like Max V, but he is quicker than Kevin, so they definitely need to keep him, and he deserves it).

That leaves 5 seats:

In order of merit: Ocon, Kubica, Vandoorne (not really had a chance and blitzed lower formulas), Sirotkin, Kvyat, Hartley, Ericsson, Giovanazzi & Russell (I only put George here as he has time and is linked to Mercedes, which seems to mark him down in the teams eyes).

Here’s the best job (in my view):

Williams – Ocon & Kubica (Sirotkin as first reserve)

Sauber – Raikkonen & Giovanazzi (Ericsson has had his chance)

Torro Rosso – Vandoorne & Hartley (better to keep going with Brendon than bring Daniil back).

Think losing Ocon and / or Vandoorne will be a disaster and Robert K needs to get back in a car, now! Also, Williams need experience.

38

Update:

Looks like Giovanazzi won’t get Sauber seat as he is doing a great job in the sim for Ferrari!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9e2BqG4zLk

Also, they say, Kvyat is going back to Torro Rosso. So, maybe Hartley is out?

Although, perhaps more likely, they won’t take Vandoorne (pity)!

Also, maybe it’s hard to see Robert K replacing Sirotkin?

We can live in hope…

39

Those are just conjectures not even based on rumors, only those journalists opinions.

In the mean time, in Italy some rumors or news are coming out and seems like Ferrari will be paying or partially paying Raikkonen salary at Sauberand they will give a large discount on engines if Sauber gives the seat to Giovinazzi. It has also been written that Tetrapak the Swedish sponsor that backs Ericsson, would be happy with with that situation: Kimi on one car, Giovinazzi on the other and more spare funds for what ever the team may need. Having Kimi on board make Ericsson not so compelling anymore.

40

In an interview Luca di Montezemolo said, not long before Marchionne past away, that he didn’t think that Marchionne valued Ferrari’s past nor it’s achivements especially the WDC’s of the drivers in the past.

And he named three drivers in this context namely; Lauda, Schumacher e Raikkonen.

He also went further to say that it was a very curious thing, he used a very strong word that he seemed jelous.

41

There was definitely jealousy at play, but I think you got the direction wrong.

42

Not me, you can blame Luca but not me. It’s his words not mine. And the guy acheived a lot, like him or not. So I dont think he needs to be jealous.

43

This is a brilliant move on many levels. As some posters have mentioned this is a great insurance policy for Ferrari if Charles can’t come to grips with competing at the top level. Leaves the door open for swap back if needed.

Sauber benefits from having a tier one driver with loads of experience to help push that car farther up the grid. I don’t think they are content with being a lower level mid field team and Freddy V. Is capable of moving the team up with the right people around him.

Alfa also benefits On a brand recognition level where Kimi is well know in Motorsports and the association is only a positive for them.

We know that Kimi is on the back 9 of his career as a driver but if memory serves me correctly he is the owner/ manager of a moto cross team. I feel he may be one of those drivers that has aspirations of continuing on in a different capacity one day in Formula 1. The move to Sauber AR may be that first step for setting that career up after driving.

Best of luck to all involved.

Now Merc need to find Ocon a seat

44

Much as I would like to see Kimi doing chatty pit wall interviews like Horner I doubt it it will happen!

45

Kimi 2019 will be just as fast as Kimi 2018.. because he’ll effectively be driving the 2018 Ferrari with 2019 powerplant.

46

Watching Peter Windsor on you tube, he said Kimi’s deal came as a surprise to Ferrari.

I assumed Ferrari must be helping financially, so if it’s true how is Sauber affording to pay him?

47

They’re paying him in shares if the European rumors are to be believed?

48

@ CTP according to Raikkonen he completely debunks this theory.

49

As a Kimi fan, i like this, if Le clerc can get that Sauber to Q3, Kimi should have no problem doing the same.

Kimi is one of the best development drivers out there, he knows how to improve the car, helped bring the Ferrari into a WCC contender.

Rosberg was also good at developing cars, proven by the fact that Mercedes is not so dominant after he left.

50

Jimothy,

So, what you’re saying is that Kimi has done absolutely nothing for years and then for the last two he’s kicked into gear and started developing the car into a proper title contender? Nice of him to try and help his team leader to the title like that. Shame that neither of them are using it to its best though…

And you discredit Lewis. Rosberg was already with the team for quite a while when he joined. It’s very strange that the huge upturn in fortunes for Mercedes coincided with Lewis joining the team.

Or was Rosberg also doing nothing for years and then upped his game in car design to help his mate become a four time champ?

51

Correlation does not imply causation.

But idiots usually infer it.

52

Jimothy, please just find another driver for comparison. Try Schumacher. Thanks.

53

@Jimothy

How’s the 🎣? Any bites today – perhaps a smaller hook or maybe a thinner line next time. Although you do make a valid point (inadvertently) – Hamilton is really showing his class by leading the WDC despite having the inferior car .

54

Although you do make a valid point (inadvertently) – Hamilton is really showing his class by leading the WDC despite having the inferior car .

To be fair to Bottas though, you would have to admit he has helped a lot.

I like Valterri, he is a great driver, he even blew Hamilton away at the first few races this year, but then he realized he was a number 2 driver.

55

He is great driver? Really ? That sounds like absolute comedy gold. Bottas is wasting the number 2 seat at Mercedes for a while now. Yet Mercedes wouldn’t be interested in signing Daniel ricciardo or Esteban ocon, simply because they don’t want to upset their favoured son Lewis Hamilton. There’s no difference between Mercedes and Ferrari, both teams went for the safer NO 2 option

56

Mercedes wouldn’t be interested in signing Daniel ricciardo or Esteban ocon, simply because they don’t want to upset their favoured son Lewis Hamilton.

Maybe i should have said that he could have been great but unfortunately, he realized he was a number two after (allegedly) signing up for equal status, that would have to be a blow to anyones confidence

57

he even blew Hamilton away at the first few races this year

Did he ?

58

That Mercedes won the race, against the odds, on Ferrari’s home soil is a major blow for the Scuderia that had the best car at Monza and locked out the front row.

@david

Is James a Hamfan ? In reality it’s you anti’s that can’t bear the thought that Hamilton is leading the WDC against the odds, driving a slower car than the Ferrari’s ! Imagine having to admit that, eh? You’ve always been able to comfort yourselves with the idea that it’s all the car and now that last refuge is gone .

59

C63. All you Hamfans just claim Ferrari is the better car so it makes Hamilton look better. Truth is, Merc is still the better car

60

Of course he did, surely you remember him beating Hamilton from pillar to post in Melbourne.

61

Jimothy, Kimi fan eh? Suddenly a lit of your stuff starts to make sense. Here’s a question for you, if Rosberg’s talents as a development driver are ‘proven’ by Merc’s dominance level dropping when he left, can Lewis be credited with their dominance kicking in when he arrived?….

62

He may have also something to do with “guru” Allison moving from Ferrari to Mercedes.

63

can Lewis be credited with their dominance kicking in when he arrived?….

Obviously no, development takes tiime.

Rosberg helped bring the team to the top, at his peak he destroyed Hamilton in 2016, never once benefiting from team orders, unlike Lewis in Monaco.

Dont believe everything aveli (aka LH44) tells you

64

provide something that backs up the claims Jimothy makes if you agree so much

I have backed up plenty of claims Timbo, you just dont seem to be able to grasp anything, you just believe everything aveli tells you

65

You guys have obviously been hurting since 07

You forgot 2016 when Rosberg beat Hamilton even though Lewis disobeyed all team orders and Rosberg obeyed all of them and Still he rose to become WDC

66

Rosberg – the driver who had a post it note on his steering wheel to remind him of the start procedure?

After all of Hamiltons poor starts in 2016, maybe Hamilton should have done the same

67

completely agree Jimothy

68

@david

All you anti-Ham fans just claim the Merc is the better car so it makes Hamilton look bad. Truth is, Ferrari is the better car.

Fixed it for yah!

Oh the pain, the pain!

69

@ david and jimothy

Get a room already.

You guys have obviously been hurting since 07.

And now Hamilton says that he just wants to keep racing forever. I wonder how many more titles, wins and records he will get?

Oh, the pain, the pain!

70

David, perhaps you would lkke to provide something that backs up the claims Jimothy makes if you agree so much. We all know Jimbo won’t.

71

All joking aside David – do you honestly believe the key to Mercedes success was all down to Rosberg – the driver who had a post it note on his steering wheel to remind him of the start procedure?

72

Jimbo

You remind me of all the rednecks and cowboys over at motorsport.com whose sole purpose of posting is to show (or perhaps remind themselves) how much better Max is than Daniel. Only thing is you’re doing it here with your mindless anti-Hamilton rants.

“Destroyed” is a big word Jimbo and I wonder if you grasp it’s full meaning. So Lewis out qualified and won more races than Rosberg and in the end lost the WDC in 2016 by a hand full of points and you call that “destroyed”?

Perhaps you’d like to consider that of the eight Merc powered cars on the grid in 2016 only Lewis’ suffered mechanical problems or failures and the resultant loss of points.

And Jimbo just so you know I’m a Ricciardo fan but I believe I can seperate fact from fantasy.

73

Perhaps you’d like to consider that of the eight Merc powered cars on the grid in 2016 only Lewis’ suffered mechanical problems or failures and the resultant loss of points.

Thats because the other teams never had the same Q3 ‘party modes’

Hamilton used his a bit too much obviously.

https://www.racefans.net/2017/11/09/how-a-secret-mercedes-engine-mode-helped-pressure-vettel-into-a-race-ending-puncture/

74

Well said Adrian – plus 1

75

My first season in Formula 1, alongside a world champion – a double world champion – and I blew him away. I beat him. No-one’s ever come in their first year and been at the front, let alone beat a world champion

76

Jimothy, wow. Destroyed Hamilton huh? By winning less races than him, even though Lewis had a nightmare season for reliability.

Rosberg was lucky to get that title and he knew it, hence him running for the hills when he got it. If they’d have been equal on retirements from races, Lewis would have only needed to finish 7th in Malaysia to take the title. And that’s not even taking into account the many many other issues he had throughout the season.

But do keep kidding yourself. Just don’t think you’re kidding all the rest of us.

77

Also remember Rosberg gifted Lewis the win in Monaco that year.

I thought it was Red Bull that gifted Ham the win – apparently all Hamilton had to was just turn up and the win was literally gifted to him . At least that’s the version I’ve read from some posters 😂

78

Hamilton said that he blew Alonso away, even though they were level on points, so by Hamiltons own standard yes, Rosberg blew him away in 2016, he beat him by 5 points.

Also remember Rosberg gifted Lewis the win in Monaco that year.

79

Jimothy, I don’t need to believe anything anyone tells me on here, in my experience there own personal like or dislike of a particular driver tends to wildly skew their opinions one way or another, even to the point of telling outright lies and presenting them as facts…..

80

Jimothy, we all have bias, the question we all need to ask ourselves is ‘does my like or dislike of a particular driver lead me to discard the truth completely when it comes to assessing that driver?’. I’m only interested in facts Jimbo, you not so much…..

81

Your Hamilton love dosent make you biased? Come on, you dont expect me to believe that do you?

82

Under the Schumi era Nico was not allowed to develop the car. When Lewis arrived the Nico could kick start his efforts.

Or we could all agree that driver development is over rated these days with the engineers just needing good feedback and a driver who can do exactly as told in testing.

83

Project, I’m very much in the latter camp. I think the amount of input the drivers have in developing the car has always been overstated, but with all the data harvesting now, I can’t see how any of the drivers can tell the engineers anything they don’t already know.

84

Hamilton has said he thinks simulator work is a waste of time, he is a good driver thats good at driving around problems (like Alonso) but driving around problems rather than sorting them is not good for development.

That is why Kimi is valuable to any team.

85

That is why Kimi is valuable to any team

According to Mark Hughes , Kimi’s lack of adaptability is a weakness not a strength . But then what would Mark Hughes know.

86

Or we could all agree that driver development is over rated these days with the engineers just needing good feedback and a driver who can do exactly as told in testing.

Exactly, from the comments on this thread you’d think that Kimi spends his spare time in front of CFD software to find a few points of downforce.

87

I seem to recall Kimi can’t do prolonged simulator work as it gives him motion sickness.

88

The nummer 1 and 2 driver aproach than not a few fans advocate these days are to the detriment of the sport/show. Ferrari have of course exceled in this in the past decades.

Many believe it’s fundamental to success. I don’t, rather the opposite is true I believe.

Why a considerable amount of fans seem to believe in this aproach is of course the Schumi era. But the truth is that the Ferrari car of that era was superior to any other car for many years, with a few exeptions. It’s easy to forget that the short time effects that you get might be good whilst at a longer perspective they are corrosive and demoralising in other aspects than the obvious gains you get.

And in a larger perspective you of course get the same from the other teams which nullifies the anticipated effects. And from a viewer/fan point of view it’s devestating, since in the end, who really want to watch a staged sport no matter if it’s part media spectacle.

But right now this view seems to have gained a lot of ground among fans, curiously enough. This is often what we discuss during a GP weekend not racing in the usual sense of the word. That for me is a sad state that F1 is in at this point, although it’s not a new phenomena. But it’s now on another level. It’s systematized as a integral part and parcel of the philosophy of F1

89

I think this view gains only supporter from number 1 who just want their darling to win and it’s looking tough. the more reasonable view would be for bottas fan for example to recognize that now that he is too far behind it’s ok to help lewis secure the titale as fast as possible hoping for Lewis to drop n perf after winning the title allowing bot to win some races ( like 2015 and 2017)

90

Aside of the best driving talent, you need an ultra strong mentality before jump in to the red car. The pressure is massive as the only goal is to win the championship. Do a small mistake and you’ll be on the headline for days. Finger crossed that Leclerc can overcome this.

91

Why is Kimi moving to Sauber ? Is it the joy of driving and passion for F1. Probably not. Real reason – he had to split half of his career earnings with his first wife. He needs to to bank some cash before he stops – we all understand that.

92

I guess the most fun to watch in 2019 will be Kimi and Dan fighting for the best of the rest status. Maybe even closing out ahead of Le Clerc and Gasley from time to time.

93

Hmmmmmmm … this smells of the perfect set-up for Ferrari to help them “push” Seb out of Maranello early and get Hamilton into a Scarlet car before he retires and says goodbye to F1 forever!

Lewis has hinted plenty of times that he’d love to drive for Ferrari before he retires so maybe Ferrari have a devious plan in place to swap him and Vettel.

Vettel has well and truly had his chance to succeed at Maranello but keeps throwing it away like a spoilt child.

At least with HAM, they’d have a guy who is almost guaranteed to win them a long overdue championship or two, especially with the way their car is performing now.

I’d be quite surprised if Ferrari haven’t had “serious words” with Seb and advised him to lift his game after so many hot-headed indiscretions and rookie level stuff-ups.

It looks like they’ve taken Leclerc now to force Seb’s hand … to force him out of his highly paid comfort zone and start winning, or get out now while he still has some dignity and worth to another team.

Imagine if Leclerc out-performs him next year … Seb’s value will fall faster than the Australian dollar on a Monday morning after changing ANOTHER Prime Minister!!!

To add more spice to that scenario … Toto has been very protective and supportive of Seb lately. It’s been rumoured for a while now that he has been offered the chance to drive at Merc if Ham suddenly retires – this could all fit together nicely if the silly-season dominoes fall into place in the next 12 months.

94

Sebee, that you?

95

Does it say Sebee in the user name? No? Then it isn’t.

96

Sebee, ‘F1 quotes’ doesn’t contain the word ‘Sebee’ either…..

97

I wonder how much of this decision was taken to honour the wishes of Marchionne who wanted LeClerc to replace Kimi contrary to Arrivabene who wanted to keep Kimi to keep Vettel happy.

If Charles is as good as his achievements and reputation there’s no way that Ferrari should treat him like a number 2 driver but let him compete equally for WDC especially if Vettel fails to win it this year.

98

@ Adrian…There seems to be a common thought expressed that somehow the ‘wishes’ of the late Marchionne were being ‘honoured’. It reads to me sometimes of projected sentimentality which, IMO, is a load of old cobblers. I would not be surprised to know that Marchionne had already signed Leclerc well before he passed away. Remember that leclerc was already contracted to Ferrari as a junior and i would also expect that there were options included. IMO Leclerc was optioned for that seat quite so time ago and Ferrari were legally bound to implement. The announcement was carefully staged in order to protect their image when letting Raikkonen go.

99

Very unlikely kenneth! You just don’t go about walking with a signed contract in your pocket for a couple of months and don’t let on – not in any sport.

100

@ Lemwil….Really? There are many past admissions whereby contracts were signed many months prior to public announcement. There were many rumours long before the latest confirmation. You really do need to keep up.

101

@Adrian

I can’t remember where I read it now, but the article said that it was Luca Di that was the big fan of Vettel – not Marchionne , who inherited him. As you say, if he fails to deliver the WDC this year I think it could get uncomfortable for him next season. Fingers crossed 🤞 eh 😊

102

C63

Perhaps also another reason why Marchionne wanted to promote Charles was that he was losing faith in Vettel.

103

I think there might have been some questions asked – apparently Marchionne was a great one for asking awkward questions .

104

Adrian, if Charles is as good as people think, then Ferrari will have no choice but to give him equal status at least. The reason they were able to control Kimi so easily was his lack of qualufying speed in relation to Vettel, what happens if Charles is ahead on the grid on a regular basis? The other problem they will have is his cooperation level, drivers capable of winning multiple wdcs tend to have a certain mindset, and this does not include moving over for a team mate, or accepting a duff strategy. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch!

105

As per Lewis in 2007. I’ve just read that mechanic book by the guy from McLaren. Really points out how Lewis was starting to challenge the No1 status of Alonso as soon as Monaco and was not willing to follow team orders. Oh for an interesting Monaco in 2019

106

If Lewis wrote a book it would be called The LH44 story I only like team orders when they benefit me.

I still cant think of a single time that Lewis helped any team mate, even Rosberg was gentleman enough to allow Lewis through.

107

Tomx, “did a bit of moaning about it”, do you mean Hungary or another time? Definitely no moaning at all at the Hungaroring.

108

#Jimothy. He gave a place back to Bottas last year.( did a bit of moaning about it. ) but he did give it back.

Mind you that isn’t exactly helping is it.

109

Jimothy, Now we know that your a Kimi fan, it’s easy to see why you see being helpful to your team mate as such an important attribute in a driver, seeing as his career has revolved around doing just that for the last five years! In reality of course, helpfulness isn’t a trait you will find in any of the guys at the very top, not that the opportunity comes up very often if you are well ahead of your team mate. I can only think of Hungary last year when Lewis gave Bottas the position back, and Nonaco 2007 when he heeded the hold starion order from the pit wall and stopped trying to race Fernando. That’s about it really, not a long list, but longer than Seb’s or Fernando’s.

110

Great news! Good luck to Leclerc and I hope that Kimi wins one before he leaves Maranello. Suzuka is coming up, the site of his most famous win and one of the best ever wins by any driver in F1 history. No more playing butler. He has the car this year to pull it off.

I am excited to see what Leclerc is capable of in a race winning car. He impressed me alot in the lower categories. Feisty, relentless and quick. He never gives up.

I don’t understand the posters here who say that he isn’t ready. No one knows how ready Leclerc is until he gets in the 2019 Ferrari. No one expected the rookie Lewis Hamilton to match a 2 time WDC teammate in 2007 and certainly no one knew that he would record the best ever rookie season in F1 history.

The cream always rises to the top.

We will know soon enough if Leclerc is a legend or just a flash in the pan. I can’t wait to find out.

111

Nice1

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