Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2020

Joining Vettel at Ferrari felt “intimidating” – Leclerc

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc said an emotional farewell to Sebastian Vettel, who he said he had “really, really enjoyed” having as a team mate despite feeling intimidated at first.

What they say

Speaking alongside his team mate after their last race together in Abu Dhabi, Leclerc said that despite difficulties during their time as team mates (including several on-track clashes) he had been overwhelmed by the warm welcome given to him at Ferrari by four-times world champion Vettel:

Seb knows about what I think about our relationship. Surely, we’ve had our moments, we’ve had very good moments on track, also ones that were less good.

So thank you for being who you are, the way you welcomed me to the team when I arrived. It was not easy having you as a team mate, too. I think you know how intimidating it was sitting next to a four-time world champion when I arrived at Ferrari.

You welcomed me in the best way possible and I really, really enjoyed being your team mate for two years. And I just wish you the best for the future.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Did Red Bull pick the right driver for 2021?

I am not sold on Perez to Red Bull. Not saying Perez is bad as I actually think he’s pretty great but I can’t see the hype that’s being built around him.

His race pace is pretty excellent but I don’t see him as anything special over one lap, and having watched the drama with Ocon at Force India and how close Ocon could run him, I don’t know – I don’t think he’s going to do as well at Red Bull as everyone seems to think. Overall I still think Hulkenberg was the better option.
Adam (@rocketpanda)

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1968: Karl Wendlinger, who was part of Mercedes’ junior sports car team alongside Michael Schumacher, graduated to F1, but was badly injured in a crash at Monaco in 1994

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  • 33 comments on “Joining Vettel at Ferrari felt “intimidating” – Leclerc”

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      20th December 2020, 0:52

      With regards to COTD; Perez and Hulkenberg were team mates for 3 seasons and Perez was the better driver. Surely the perfect compliment to Max’s pace yet occasional hot headed moments.

      1. Hülkenberg seems very at ease in tricky weather conditions, maybe he would be better at handling a tricky Red Bull, it’s not unreasonable

        1. Hülkenberg seems very at ease in tricky weather conditions

          Nico literally lost his first podium chance crashing in the rain in Germany last year.

          1. He also was running much higher than he should have in the first place. Just like Brazil 2012, where he would have finished on the podium if he hadn’t been penalized for what you could argue was a racing incident. He simply has more pace in these tricky conditions.
            If Perez is a reliable finisher but always 0.3s/lap off Verstappen, he will not be that much of an improvement over Albon.

            1. The problem is not quali but the race. The points are delivered during races and there Albon let go.
              Perez on the other hand is very consistent in pointscoring. That is what needed.
              In the race Perez will be able to follow the top and not like Albon, fighting in the midfield.

      2. @rdotquestionmark Perez had better results, Hulk was almost always ahead.

        Experienced drivers first experiencing the front fry under pressure, Hulk certainly did, perez almost ruined it at austria, hulk put the RP 3rd.
        Clear that Hulk is quicker but Hulk would have to re-adapt, RB want to hit the ground running. I reckon Perez is going to be an improvement, he’ll end 4th a pitstop and a half behind max.

        1. @peartree

          Perez did get highlight results of the year when he was paired against Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg though seemed quicker on Saturdays and really consistent throughout the year. It’s hard to choose who was the better driver between them. The first season it was the Hulk, the second season is was pretty even and in the 3rd it edged towards Perez.
          I was actually rooting for Hulkenberg to get the drive.. But as you mentioned spending a year outside the sport wasn’t ideal for him.. Plus he had to have broken that podium jinx to pip Perez to the seat.

    2. I have googled what is this Ginetta Junior Championship, where Chadwick drove at some early year of her career. And so I have seen an earlier model used by the series, wow this Ginetta G20 is so charming :) Although somewhat I like the G40 too.

      1. The nice thing is that Ginetta and Ginetta Juniors get good TV coverage here in the UK as they are both support series to the British Touring Car Championships. ITV provide coverage for it on race Sundays from about 11am to 6pm to include the BTCC races and ALL of the support races. Damn good day for motor racing fans.

    3. Doohan’s right. Motorsport just isn’t very visible in Australia. It blows my mind how few people have even heard the name Jack Brabham let alone understand his achievements. Pretty much the only F1 coverage we get in mainstream media is when there’s a horrific accident or Ricciardo scores a decent result. I literally have seen no coverage of the MotoGP this year…

      1. Bang on. It saddens me tbh. We get drowned in AFL and cricket constantly. Can’t forget Verstappen being referred to as ‘Mad Max’ constantly and articles implying he and Ricciardo don’t like one another.

    4. What was Perez referring to, when saying he’ll work with Christian Horner again after 12 years?

      1. @gabf1 Perez raced for Arden in GP2. Arden is Christian Horner’s team, he set it up with his brother at the back end of his own racing career.

        1. @geemac This explains the reference that I also wondered about.

        2. Thank you @geemac. Just what I wanted to know.

    5. Too bad the Ferrari years for Seb came at the same time Mercedes was on high crush mode.

      1. Yes, it is unfortunate. I suspect the Token Rules were intended to give Ferrari the nearly unbeatable advantage, but somehow Mercedes were the ones that ended up with that advantage.

      2. Too bad the Ferrari years for Alonso came at the same time Red-Bull was on high crush mode.

    6. I don’t share the same sentiment as the COTD.

      1. Indeed. There have been many through the years with 1 lap pace, who couldn’t really cut it over a race distance.
        Points aren’t handed out on a Saturday.
        I think people are forgetting that this was a simple choice between Perez and Albon. I think this is the better option. There may well be better drivers out there, but few actual realistic options without breaking the bank to rip up contracts and cause massive aggravation!

        1. Crap, sorry for the above.
          Why was a simple choice between Perez and Albon?
          Wasnt Hulkenberg just as available? Also there are 3 other drivers being kicked out of f1 next year, but okay, they maybe don’t compare favourably to Perez and Hulk, although one of them is part of RB program. And there’s Gasly. I can understand why hiring either Kvyat or Gasly would seem like repeating the same action hoping for a different outcome, but it’s not reeeally the same, is it.
          And perhaps I forgot some more.

          Anyway, I actually think that Perez is the right choice of all those, for many reasons including commercial ones, and perhaps the teams have a bit more data than we do :)

    7. Woo, COTD.

      To be honest, adding to it, I’m still quite surprised they didn’t even consider Gasly as I don’t see anything Perez has done this year being anything better than what Gasly achieved with what is essentially a worse car. I like Perez, especially after all he did for Force India and I do think he deserves a space on the grid but people talking of him as a ‘top drawer’ driver? That I don’t see. If he thinks he’s going there as anything other than a dependable no.2, or Verstappen’s Barrichello he’s in for a rude awakening.

      Also – I’d say I’m a fan of Red Bull’s but I’m angry at the way they handle their drivers. They treat them like interchangable pieces, swappable if not functioning perfectly and seem to have little care for their mental health or development. I understand F1 can be cutthroat and a sink or swim environment but Red Bull often seems like a shark tank as the list of drivers that were certainly good that they’ve chewed up and spat out is longer than the number of titles they’ve won.

      1. I think it has been made very clear what role Perez would have to play in 2021 and it very clear Red Bull wants one more car up there with the two Mercedes cars, from a strategy perspective. Anyone can be a second driver. But being a fast second driver is what is needed for a championship battle. A one year contract is to test how it goes.
        Assuming that the 2020 RPR base is mostly W10 in pink, there might be vital information about MGU, suspension, brakes, aero parts etc, that Perez would be able to bring in to Red Bull. This could help in car development.
        As regards Gasly, the team would have extensive data on how he has performed in Red Bull and how he has performed in Toro Rosso this year and earlier. If the gap to Max is still substantial despite good results, there is no justification yet for a return.

        1. They treat them like interchangable pieces, swappable if not functioning perfectly and seem to have little care for their mental health or development.

          That’s ridiculous. People just love being critical of Red Bull.

          F1 is the pinnacle of motorsports and realistically only 6 seats available in the world if you ever want a chance of someday winning a championship (4 seats until Ferrari can build a competitive engine again).

          If they aren’t cut out for it mentally then they should go get a 9-5 job.

          There are people not knowing how to pay for the rent or groceries, living under lockdown, and you’re worried about a monied F1 driver that got to live his dream but ultimately wasn’t good enough to be worthy of a Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari seat?

          No team does more to give young drivers a shot at driving for a top team than Red Bull. Mercedes certainly don’t. If Mercedes compared about making 2021 competitive and some what interesting they wouldn’t have Bottas taking up that seat. Instead we’re going to have Hamilton winning at least 80% of the races and runaway with the championship with Bottas his main rival.

      2. @rocketpanda

        The Toro Rosso seems easier to drive, so it could be the faster car for drivers like Gasly & Albon, even when the RB is a faster car for Max.

        I don’t see much justification for putting Gasly back in the RB when there is no indication that the new RB will be much easier to drive. The pressure at RB is also not going to be less, so if Gasly failed (in part) due to the pressure, that will still be an issue.

    8. Perez is sensibly the best tyre-manager of the Pirelli-era. Gasly in this mix aswell with medium/hard tyres.

      1. you underrated Hamilton and verstappen. Both able to do things others are not able.

    9. I really like the general camaraderie of the Ferrari drivers. Leclerc is really a top bloke.

    10. I think Perez and Hulkenberg are broadly at the same level, but the things that Perez really excels at – ability to extend a stint, manage the tyres, the way he’s always there when someone else messes up – are more suited to what Red Bull need in 2021. He’s also raced all this year, so there’s no chance of rustiness.

      That, and Perez is a far more commercially attractive proposition than Hulkenberg, Gasly, or anyone else they might have considered to replace Albon. He’s their best bet both on the track and off it.

      1. @neilosjames

        Ricciardo had good results with a very similar skill set, although he seems to be a better qualifier than Perez.

      2. I think Perez has had a good season but the reality is that he’s done well relative to Stroll.

        I’m not sure if he’ll be any better than Gasly or Albon, but they can’t continue with Albon and bringing back Gasly will just get the same result as before.

        Perez is the best available driver on the market.

    11. Perez will struggle vs Max but has been recruited to play a similar role Kimi did for Ferrari with Seb or Bottas does for Mercedes. To be a compliant No 2 who won’t allow himself to get too demoralized by his own performance relative to Max.
      My concern is Perez had a very messy time with Ocon so not sure why they expect him to be able to handle Max speed and character.

    Comments are closed.