Eddie Jordan doubts Charles Leclerc will match Kimi Raikkonen’s points-tally from this season when he races for Ferrari next year, but says it is a sign the Scuderia are planning for the future.
Following the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari announced that Raikkonen would be leaving the team at the end of this season.
His seat will instead go to Sauber rookie Leclerc, who will become the youngster driver since Ricardo Rodriguez in 1961 to race for Ferrari.
“So now they’ve dumped Kimi Raikkonen, to be replaced with Charles Leclerc, the fantastic Sauber driver,” former F1 team boss Jordan told Channel 4.
“But I have to ask myself one question, is Charles likely to get more points in the championship next season than Kimi would have?
“I wouldn’t bet on that.
“However, could Leclerc be a World Champion in the future? Absolutely.
“Perhaps Ferrari are thinking of a champion post-Vettel.
“Charles was the choice of former Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne, who sadly died in July.
“And the new chairman John Elkann has endorsed that despite pressure from within.”
Leclerc has signed a multi-year deal with Ferrari while Vettel is contracted until the end of 2020.
The 70-year-old also weighed in on Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix saying Ferrari’s failure to win the race has all but put Vettel out of the championship race.
“It’s over,” he said.
“It was a big dagger in the heart of Ferrari, it was shocking.
“They didn’t get it right, their strategy was shocking.”
It was especially gutting, considering that Ferrari were confident of performing well in Singapore. But, things fell apart once qualifying began as Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position. It got even worse for them once the race got underway as their strategy was thrown out of the window.
It was quite an error of judgement from Ferrari as they misinterpreted a message from Mercedes. Hamilton reported that his tyres were still good to go. Ferrari thought that he said that his tyres were gone off the cliff. Although both Vettel and Ferrari stated that they didn’t believe Lewis, they dived into the pits. It proved to be their undoing as they wasted precious time stuck behind Sergio Perez. One thing led to another and Lewis wrapped up an easy win.