‘Vettel wants safe team-mate, Leclerc is too wild’

Date published: March 5 2020

Sebastian Vettel could be a future FIA president says Jean Todt.

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers has had a go at the Ferrari drivers, saying Sebastian Vettel likes “safe” team-mates and Charles Leclerc “overdrives” the car.

Last season Ferrari fielded a new driver pairing as Leclerc stepped up to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

After five years of being Vettel’s team-mate, and never once beating him in the Drivers’ standings, Raikkonen departed for Alfa Romeo and Leclerc took his place.

Almost immediately there were fireworks.

Unlike in the previous five seasons when Vettel and Raikkonen had a friendly relationship without much drama on the track, Leclerc challenged Vettel and Ferrari were forced into team orders.

21 races after it all began, Leclerc became only the second team-mate to get the better of Vettel in the standings.

Essentiallysports quotes former F1 racer Albers as having told MBS News: “Vettel does have the speed, but he gets irritated when someone is just as fast.

“That’s why he wanted to keep Kimi as his team-mate. For safety reasons.”

The Dutchman, though, wasn’t done with his critique of the Ferrari team-mates.

Moving onto Leclerc, he says the two-time race winner needs to work on his driving style.

“I think Leclerc always overdrives his car,” he said.

“It’s a mystery to me how he constantly squeezes those times out while he drives so wildly.”

The former Minardi and Spyker F1 driver believes the rivalry between the two hurt Ferrari last season.

“If you look at the performance, it’s just not good,” he continued. “That Vettel-Leclerc struggle has caused many problems and cost points.”

Ferrari finished second in last year’s championship with just three wins on the board.

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