Compared to previous seasons, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has had a fairly decent run of form. However, it still hasn’t stopped teammate Vettel from dominating him every step of the way. Now, former F1 driver Martin Brundle assessed Raikkonen’s sorry state of affairs. He believes that the Ferrari driver’s level of performance has been maxed out.
The Finn has failed to capitalise on good opportunities in qualifying to line up on the front row. His race craft has also left something to be desired as well. Brundle suggested that the 2007 world champion should quit while he is ahead.
“Ferrari have to be concerned about Kimi,” said Brundle.
“l know he’s one of the most popular drivers around, but after another mistake in qualifying he finished nearly 30 seconds behind his team-mate on Sunday.
“What are they going to do? In my view Kimi has reached the end of the road. He still shows a flash of real speed from time to time but he can’t relentlessly deliver the required race pace any more.
“Nor is he working as an effective rear-gunner to Seb.
“Winning the Constructors’ Championship is super-important to Ferrari – they don’t put the list of their titles on their road car dashboards for fun – and if they want to win it in this era against Red Bull or Mercedes they need a Ricciardo or a Leclerc alongside Vettel next year.
“And Vettel needs to deal with that.”
Brundle too has been enamoured by the Charles Leclerc hype. The Monegasque driver has turned a lot of heads with the Sauber. The former McLaren driver insists that Ferrari needs to go for LeClerc as Raikkonen’s replacement.
“He clearly has the head for F1, and he just looks like the complete package, even if his picture in the F1 grid graphics make him look like a startled Harry Potter.
“Ferrari don’t often take risks on young drivers but there’s a changing of the guard going on between generations.
“The field can be divided into three groups with the likes of Fernando and Kimi at one end, Grosjean and Hulkenberg in the middle ground, and a group of young fliers coming through – and Ferrari don’t want to be caught out.”