Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2018

Ericsson hopes Leclerc “kicks some ass” at Ferrari

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In the round-up: Marcus Ericsson says he thinks former team mate Charles Leclerc will do “very well” at Ferrari.

What they say

Ericsson, who is moving to IndyCar, will keep an eye on his former team mate’s progress:

I will be very interested to follow Charles in Ferrari. I think he can do really well already next year. And of course if he does really well it will be good for me because it will reflect very good on me. So let’s hope he kicks some ass over there!

I think he will be interesting to follow, I’m pretty sure he will do very well.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Aaditya scrutinises one of my favourite intra-team fights of recent seasons:

Ocon’s season really unraveled in the last four races, starting from the disqualification in USA. Without that, he would have been just one point behind Perez with three races to go.

I agree that his racecraft needs work. He ruined his own race in Mexico by being too greedy on lap 1 and trying to get alongside Hulkenberg midway through the turn two chicane, and the latter closed the door which led to Ocon losing half of his front wing. I think the common pattern with most of his collisions this year and even last year is that he expects too much of a nice treatment from the drivers he is battling with on track, putting his car in dangerous positions and putting all his faith in the other driver. It’s actually not that different from what Daniel does with his dive-bombs and Verstappen does with his aggressive overtakes, so I guess you can say Ocon has been slightly unlucky at times, but I think if wants to swing that way, he needs to find a thin line similar to the ones Ricciardo and Verstappen have learned to operate on and make sure he doesn’t overstep it.

I’m a huge believer in ‘points before everything else’, so I have to rate Perez’s season better. That being said, there’s absolutely no doubt who was the faster Force India driver this year, and while Ocon is likely still far from his peak, the same can’t be said for Perez.

Their teammate battle bears similarities to Verstappen vs Ricciardo 2017. The former upped his game from 2016 and was clearly faster than his team mate, and while both suffered from similar reliability (Verstappen arguably slightly more unlucky with respect to the positions he retired from), Daniel somehow ended up scoring more points, thanks to his opportunism and calm-headedness (most notably at Monza).

If Ocon was improving at a rate similar to Max’s, I think next year, he would have beaten Perez on points as well…perhaps comfortably. We’ll never get to see, though.

Aaditya (@Neutronstar)

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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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33 comments on “Ericsson hopes Leclerc “kicks some ass” at Ferrari”

  1. Oh, come on Ericsson! Vettel already lost the championship. No need to kick him when he’s down!

  2. Im going to say that Leclerc will match Vettel next year, if not beat him, IF, he is allowed to race Vettel that is.

    I really get the sense that Vettel is a bit jaded, especially in the latter part of the season gone. Leclerc has a big point to prove, he will want to show that he is the future of Ferrari. This could be very much a repeat of 2014 for Vettel. I feel that if he doesn’t start the season well next year, he will fade away.

    Wish Leclerc all the best at Ferrari.

    1. Pretty much my feelings also.
      Seb seemed to lose the plot in the second half of the season (there were rumours of personal problems but nothing was confirmed) and if Leclerc is fighting him hard from the first few races next season then I could see Seb becoming the new Kimi.
      Hard to picture and not what I want but still. Let’s wait and see.

    2. IF, he is allowed to race Vettel

      @jaymenon10 @nullapax – I think Leclerc will be allowed to race. Ferrari have bucked their trend of always having two old horses in the team, and went in with a youngster for 2019. In 2018 itself, they did not use team orders to the extent they did in the past (e.g. Austria comes to mind). I’m hopeful that Ferrari’s handling of their drivers in 2019 will continue in a similar manner, and not the way it has occurred in the past. I’d advise Ferrari to let them both race equally in the first round of flyaway races, and by the European leg (latest by the summer break) pick a driver to back, if such a call is needed.

      Of course, Ferrari being Ferrari, they are adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And as @okeptl alludes to, if there is a power tussle between Arrivabene and Binotti, that infighting might not be good news for Ferrari.

      1. My first thought on Leclerc is that he has everything to prove. SV, in spite of making mistakes, is the 4 time WDC with nothing more to prove other than I suppose to keep racing at a top level and get another WDC. He’s been there done that, and Leclerc has everything ahead of him yet. So, respect to SV for already achieving more than most racers in history ever have or will.

        The only comparison to make imho regarding SV’s 2014 season with DR is that Leclerc, as with DR, is the newbie on the team and therefore in the lesser pressure situation. Lag behind a 4 time WDC and it’s no surprise, but match him or best him and it’s gravy. But in 2014 SV had had his 4 time WCC car taken away and replaced by something unrecognizable and terrible to him, yet likely awesome for DR as he couldn’t have known what SV had and now was desperately missing, and DR was now in the best car he’d ever had. That will not be the case in 2019, and SV should be very comfortable in a car that theoretically should be better than this year’s, not something completely unlike and downgraded from this year’s car.

        Who knows what will happen, but I am certainly not going to assume that Leclerc is going to ‘school’ SV or anything near that. Not saying that is impossible, but I think it’s not likely, and I’ll remain in a see it to believe it mode when it comes to how CL will do next year.

        1. I think Vettel will rebound next year and take the title IF he has a car comparable to Merc.
          In any case, I think he will outperform LeClerc – too much negative emphasis has been put on VET’s performance this season.

    3. That would be an achievement for the driver but not much for Ferrari: championship points aside, it’s far from arguable to say that Raikkonen matched Vettel this year, so that would mean not a lot of improvement for the team. We might agree that what Ferrari needs is Leclerc proving himself a better driver than Vettel, not a faster one, but overall better at giving Hamilton constant pressure over the whole season

  3. Nice picture of Carlos looking for the secret mark they put on the “good” engines.

    1. @hohum – LOL :-)

      Shouldn’t he be more concerned about which McLaren is marked the good one? (Hint to Carlos: Neither are!)

    2. I don’t think any renault engines have those kind of marks.

      1. Then how did all the bad ones go to RBR and end up in Ricciardo’s car;-)

  4. As much as I share some of Marcus’ excitement on Leclerc, I just can’t make my mind at ease with what Binotto v Arrivabene news that we’ve been having this past month or so. I am a fan of both Charles and Seb, so i really hope one of them wins the WDC next year. But the thought of Ferrari having an uncompetitive car next year scares me the most than the possible spicy rivalry between #5 and #16.

  5. I’m gonna hold my judgement on the Leclerc vs Vettel battle. To many unknowns at least for now.

    1. I get the feeling that the people who confidently believes Leclerec is going to crush Vettel must somehow believe that Ericsson is a top 5 driver. Ericsson isn’t even a top 19 driver really so beating him by a large margin doesn’t mean you’re world class.

      However, I do think Leclerc is top stuff. Should be fun to watch

  6. I backed Vettel against Hamilton the last two years, but really was not a fan of either. I was just hoping that the Mercedes dominance would come to an end and we would have some competition. We might have got that this year, but I feel Vettel did not deliver across the whole season.

    If Red Bull can become a better challenger and we can get a three team fight that would be great for the sport. Of the six drivers (well, forget Bottas) in the top three teams, I don’t really have a preference, but if Leclerc is the one to make a worthy title challenge into the final race, then I wish him well.

    1. I was just hoping that the Mercedes dominance would come to an end

      I think the ‘dominance’ has come to an end.
      Over the whole season the top two cars were very similar with the RBR closing in on the Sundays. The difference was made by the drivers. Hamilton had his best season ever, and Vettel dropped a boatload of balls.

      And a dominant car would not end up fifth in the championship.

  7. I shall be referring to the team formerly known as Force India as Teamy McTeamface

  8. Great CotD today; well argued.

    1. @coldfly Thanks, man :)

  9. I agree with most of COTD of the day, but I think ricciardo’s late braking lunges are better crafted than the comment implies. he puts the car into a position where it is incumbent on the defending driver to do something i.e. he gets well alongside if not ahead before the apex. a lot of ocon’s incidents have occurred where he barely been fully alongside, or has over-committed to the outside making it easy for the defending driver to run him wide

    i’m struggling to recall one of ricciardo’s moves where he has gone in too hot and hit the other driver (he does leave it too late sometimes, but usually his momentum is so much that he misses them on the inside).

    COTD is probably more fair about 2016/7-vintage verstappen but his wheel to wheel racecraft has become excellent this year, especially in his ability to ruthlessly get the job done quickly, which is crucial in this era of fragile tyres. his ability to spot the gap is ricciardo-esque and his braking and car placement are getting as good as hamilton’s.

    1. Ricciardo’s divebomb overtakes are often beautiful to behold.
      Among the best overtakes I’ve seen.

  10. Team Strolly McStrollFace.

    You heard it here first.

  11. I agree with Ericsson as well as the COTD.
    – Renault Sport F1 team vs. Renault F1 team: That’s barely a name change at all. Only one fewer word in it.

  12. Holy sh##,
    If the name change by Renault shows their ambition level, ricci is in for a surprise.

  13. Thanks a lot for the COTD! @keithcollantine

    1. @Neutronstar Nice one. The first time I saw a tweet from racefans that promote any COTD.

      I always rate Perez highly, mainly from his results against commonly regard as great driver like Hulkenberg and later Ocon. I can only conclude that both were just overrated, but you successfully made me think twice.

      1. @ruliemaulana Thanks! I rate Perez as a very good driver and respect him for how he rebuilt his F1 career after his unfortunate time at McLaren

  14. Well, one can expect that Leclerc and Vettel will have the same pre-conditions atleast in 2019 if Ferrari havent already decided nr 1 and nr 2 drivers in the team. That clearly werent the case between Leclerc and Ericsson in Ferraribacked Alfa Romeo Sauber.

  15. In my opinion, Vettel’s mistake in Germany destroyed his confidence this season. It was such a catastrophic mistake to make, it effectively gave Hamilton the emphasis in the championship. There were others factors, but I feel that if Vettel had won in Hockenheim things may have been more closer than they were.
    There are rumours that some within Ferrari believe that if Alonso had been in the car instead of Vettel, then Hamilton would still be a four time world champion instead of five. That is a whole other debate, but the reality is that Alonso came close to winning the championship twice in Ferrari cars that were inferior to their rivals.
    The 2018 Ferrari was no way inferior to the Mercedes, yet they still lost. Ofcourse, Ferrari have stated that they screwed up on development of the car post the summer break. That has to be taken into account, but the mistakes Vettel made were every bit as damaging. It all started at the Hockenheimring and never fully recovered.
    I feel next year is make or break for Sebastien Vettel. Leclerc is his biggest inter-team threat since Daniel Riccardo, and has youth on his side. The German has to be on form in 2019 or he is out!

    1. But who will replace him? Hamilton to Ferrari in 2020? I don’t see that happening nor do I see Verstappen going there in 2020. Unfortunately Danny Rics stock will have plummeted with another potentially weak season from Renault so I don’t see Ferrari fighting to break his contract. Unless Ferrari want to get a number 2 driver for Leclerc there are no drivers out there for 2020 as capable as Vettel whether he has another subpar season or not.

  16. Is Marcus starting to look a bit of an idiot with all these “I can’t be too bad…” comments…? ;-)

  17. Leclerc is the next Ferrari mistake and Leclerc will find that when Ferrari serves spaghetti you eat spaghetti.

    1. Maybe he likes spaghetti… Maybe he’s intelligent enough to realise this… Peculiar comment…

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