In Brief

F1: Leclerc arrival can boost Ferrari and Vettel says Brawn

Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon admits he nearly quit racing

Formula 1 director of motorsports Ross Brawn believes that Charles Leclerc’s arrival at Ferrari can provide a boost for the team and for Sebastian Vettel.

After an impressive rookie year at Sauber, 20-year-old Leclerc makes the step up to Ferrari where he replaces Kimi Raikkonen as Vettel’s teammate for the 2019 season.

The Italian team will be expected to challenge Mercedes again for the drivers’ and constructors’ titles and Brawn says that Leclerc can help their cause.

Quoted by PlanetF1.com, Brawn said: “The young Monegasque has been truly impressive in terms of speed and talent but now he has to make a significant step up. I’m sure his arrival at Ferrari will be a boost for the team and an added incentive for Vettel next year.”

On Ferrari’s failed title bids in 2018, Brawn added: “When one doesn’t win a world championship that had seemed very winnable, it’s inevitable that questions are asked in order to understand what went wrong.

“When the team in question is Ferrari, then the question is not just asked at the top but it becomes almost a national question in Italy, as I was able to see for myself during my decade in Maranello.

“Ferrari is condemned for finishing second in both championships, as it’s simply not good enough at home.” 

Albon: I nearly quit racing

Alexander Albon will drive for Toro Rosso next season but the 22-year-old has revealed that he almost quit racing after being dropped from Red Bull’s junior programme in 2012.

On that disappointment the London-born Thai driver said: “Very tough, it was a difficult year for me for numerous reasons, not least because of my results, but it made me work that much harder. I was on the brink of stopping racing all together. Since then, I knew I had to impress every time I drove. I never gave up on it [his F1 dream], I needed to believe that it could still happen.”

Albon will partner Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso next season. 

Racing Point name is temporary

Autosport.com reports that the Racing Point name is not a permanent new title for the team formerly known as Force India.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said: “It is just a place holder to indicate future change which will take place and be announced before the 2019 season.”

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