F1: Ferrari were ‘not ready’ for Leclerc and Vettel power battle
Jacques Villeneuve has his say on the competition between the Scuderia drivers
Ex-Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve does not believe that Ferrari were ready to handle the team changes following the arrival of Charles Leclerc.
In an interview with Motosport.com Villeneuve says that the Scuderia have not managed the competition between Sebastian Vettel and 21-year-old Leclerc well and the team has become unbalanced and unsettled.
Ferrari have had to watch Mercedes record four successive 1-2s in 2019 and the Italians are 74 points behind the Silver Arrows in the constructors’ championship. After four races Vettel is third in the drivers’ standings and Leclerc is fifth.
While he insists that Leclerc is “amazing” and has the talent to compete at the front of the grid Villeneuve says Ferrari should maybe have kept Kimi Raikkonen for another year as Vettel’s team-mate.
“Leclerc is quick, he personally is ready,” said Villeneuve. “It’s Ferrari that’s not ready for this kind of situation. If you take Leclerc’s perspective, it’s great to be there this year, for him it’s amazing, and he’s shown that he’s super quick.
“But if you take Ferrari as a team, you have to look at Vettel’s past, and you have to remember [Daniel] Ricciardo when he joined Red Bull. Seb needs to know that he’s loved by the team, and by the fans, and that’s gone this year.”
Villeneuve added: “They [Ferrari] already had Leclerc, so they could have given him a contract for 2020 and 2021, and kept Kimi for just one year, because this was the year to fight. Then everybody’s happy, because you give them time in advance, it doesn’t unbalance anything.
“That’s not saying Leclerc is not good, he’s amazing, he’s super quick, he deserves to be there, that’s not the issue. But the way Ferrari operates, the way Seb is, he needs this kind of love around him, and it was just not the right move.”
Vettel: I don’t need a legacy in F1
Sebastian Vettel has told Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle that he does not care about having a legacy in Formula 1.
The four-time world champion said: “I don’t care - I don’t need a legacy. I think, especially nowadays, the world is moving so fast - I don’t need to be remembered. I’m not sad about it, it’s good to move on.
“As much as I love tradition, and I’m a traditionalist, I’m against being stuck in a moment, or era. I think it’s good to go on, it’s good to go forward, we have to.
“I hope that when I’m older, I’m progressive - moving forward and not looking back. I think it’s nice to look back on a career, but it’s not the point of our lives, I guess. It’s much more about looking forward.”
F1 news headlines
What the media is writing about in the world of Formula 1.
- Mercedes: We won’t allow Hamilton-Bottas partnership to deteriorate (Formula1.com)
- ‘Elephants in room’ over F1’s 2021 negotiations nearly resolved (Autosport)
- Valtteri Bottas taking title belief from strong F1 2019 start (Sky Sports)
- Red Bull: Gasly turning form around (Sky Sports)
- Sainz: McLaren comparing ourselves to Mercedes, Ferrari (Planet F1)
- Italian Grand Prix: Monza secures race until 2024 (BBC)