Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monza, 2018

Vettel “sad” to lose his ‘best team mate’ Raikkonen

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Kimi Raikkonen is the best team mate he’s had and he’s “sad” to see him lose his place at Ferrari.

Raikkonen will be replaced by Charles Leclerc at the team for the 2019 F1 season.

Vettel and Raikkonen have been team mates at Ferrari since 2015. Asked whether Raikkonen was the best team mate he’s had in Formula 1, Vettel said: “absolutely”.

“One thing you can express in numbers and results and so on but I think that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing if you are team mates is the respect that you have for each other.

“And probably the degree of bullshit going on between each other. With Kimi it’s been zero from the start and I don’t think it will change until the end.

“Obviously it’s a great chance for Charles but it’s sad to know Kimi is not there any more because I think we get along very well even though we are different we have a lot of mutual respect.”

However Vettel said he is pleased to see Leclerc’s promotion from the Ferrari Driver Academy. “He’s been in the junior programme of the team for a long time so it’s good to see there is progression.”

Vettel added he hasn’t spoken to Leclerc since his move to Ferrari was announced. “I don’t have his number,” he said. “These days I’m sure he was very busy anyway.

“If I get to see him then I’m sure I will find the right words. By the sounds of it we will have enough time to exchange our phone number in future.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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27 comments on “Vettel “sad” to lose his ‘best team mate’ Raikkonen”

  1. Yeah I’m sure he had nothing to do with Kicking out Kimi

    1. I assume there is no sarcasm meant @carlosmedrano ? … if so, I agree. Seb clearly would prefer to be the unchallenged ‘top dog’ by having Kimi remain his team mate.

      1. There’s OBVIOUS sarcasm by the way he said it!

  2. I love the superposition in my feed of the two titles :
    “Leclerc says he won’t be Vettel’s number two at Ferrari”
    “Vettel “sad” to lose his ‘best team mate’ Raikkonen”

    Of course both are not linked in any way, no sir, not at all.

  3. I thought this was somewhat funny based on this article and the previous one.

    LeClerc: He has always been very nice to me, Every time I was going a good job in the simulator, once I was in Formula Two, he would always send a text and that was great. And it will be even better to work with him, for sure I have a lot to learn from him”
    Vettel: “I don’t have his number,”.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking, haha!

      1. Totally @renzo88. In many ways it is a shame both articles aren’t merged, as it would be a brilliant comical read.

    2. Yup some great reading here!

  4. I’m sure he’s sad at the possibility of having another driver actually compete with him for championships. Raikkonen was a very dutiful, no-protest #2. As sad as it was to see Barrichello and Massa asked to do similar things for Michael, at least those guys would be clearly annoyed or angry. Kimi seemed content to allow Ferrari to ruin podium finishes and maybe a few wins too.

    I am sure Kimi is grateful to Ferrari because they made him a very rich man. But in terms of racing Ferrari was always the place where he performed at his worst (except 2007). I can’t think of a single highlight drive from Kimi that wasn’t with McLaren, Lotus, or Saber. Think about the fact that Kim’s last win was with a Lotus and no wins with Ferrari since. It’s like Ferrari castrated his racing skills.

    1. I agree @ajpennypacker . It is going to be much harder now for Seb as he will have a team mate who will out-and-out racing for wins, rather than Kimi’s present role of playing second fiddle.

      I think Seb-v-Charles will be similar to the DanRic v Max that we have seen at Red Bull. I’m certain Charles will race harder and would not think twice about blocking Seb should the need arise – similar to when Max blocked DanRic at Baku, causing Dan to run up the back of him… should be entertaining fun times ahead (I hope) for viewers who aren’t wearing Red, maybe …

      1. It would be fun to see real racing between Ferrari drivers for once. I haven’t seen that in my lifetime. But Leclerc is much to mild-mannered to disobey a team order from a Ferrari boss. I expect the typical Ferrari boring borderline offensive #1 driver and servile #2 driver situation.

      2. Leclerc is a bet for the future.
        Vettel is a winner, but i’m under the impression he is letting them down with his temper.
        So, depending on how things go next year, the “Vettel era” can end with the expiration of his contract.

  5. Who thinks LeClerc will be faster than Seb next year? Seb is x4 WDC and still people have questions over his ability because the Red Bull was dominant. At Ferrari people say Kimi is not the driver he was and cite Vettels year v Danny Ric as a true measurement of Sebs ability. Is Charles as good as people think? Time will tell, but it will be absolutely fascinating to see them go toe to toe. It could cement Seb as an all time great or be the final piece of evidence people need to label him a good but not great driver who just had the best car for x4 years.

    1. I don’t think Vettel beating a new driver, new to the team would cement his legacy. Sebastian simply needs to win championships when he clearly has the best car. He already threw it away in 2017. He’s throwing it away this year again. If anything, I see more danger of Sebastian tarnishing his legacy than cementing it. This year has been particularly bad. At least last year had races where they clearly couldn’t compete for the win. But this year? They could have won all but 2 or 3.

  6. He is only sad because Lec with beat him. But then again wait for it MY CAR Don’t feel right from Vet. And I just hope he walks.

  7. Hmm, 7 races to go and nothing to lose, wonder if Lewis has taken him out to dinner and invited him to do a little skiing in Colorado this winter?
    Nudge nudge ;) ;)

  8. Feedback to engineers, chassis setup, tyre wear will be the main points that will make Raikkonen being missed at Ferrari.
    Quite the opposite and positive for Sauber – they will get all of that and I have a feeling that Kimi , with a team built around him will perform better and expect Sauber to be the next best Ferarri engined team. I am sure a lot of the know how of 2018 car SF car will be transferred to 2019 Sauber. Bear in mind that development of power units is at its peak ( took Ferrari 3 years to acheive and takes Mercedes now quite some time to match ) – meaning Ferarri engined cars will have the power advantage. Aero, chassis and tyre management are best explored and dependent by the driver experience. A good example is Kimi in Lotus days – he achieved a couple of wins and P2s with 1 stop strategy , whereas everyone was on a 2 stop.

    1. Close.

      It is a ‘two’ situation. Kimi and Allison at Lotus. Vettel and Newly at Red Bull. Driver and Engineer.

      Since Rosberg left Ferrari have improved. Or Mercedes have not improved. Vettel and Kimi have similar driving styles so that combo is working well.

  9. I think Vettel will leave a year, possibly two, after LeClerc gets there. Remember when DR started causing him issues at Red Bull, he upped and left. He is a great driver, but he doesn’t like it when his team mate is as fast as he is.

    1. It’s astonishing that he is 31 already, one of the oldest of the current drivers, but the only time he had somone younger than him as a team mate was Ricciardo and he left as soon as he could. Red Bull didn’t even had the time to think things through and burned Kvyat in the process.
      His whole career he raced with guys who were 10 years older than him and on this situation of “maybe going into retirement in a year or two”.

  10. Come on Seb, surely Bourdais was the “best” team mate you’ve had.

  11. Kimi’s left handed ?

    1. Is he really?

  12. Well I can’t add anything to this discussion – the obvious has been well represented.

  13. No, it is not over – Kimi will be last Ferarri WC for a few more years.

    1. Kimi will be the last campion for years to come …..well i hope so.

  14. I think Vettel will miss kimi..i mean who wouldn’t? Kimi is the best.

Comments are closed.