Ferrari veteran Kimi Raikkonen will soon be on his way out of the Maranello squad. The Finn’s replacement will most likely be Alfa Romeo-Sauber driver Charles LeClerc. While on one hand, the move makes sense as LeClerc is a Ferrari Academy product.
On the other end of the spectrum, Raikkonen has been quite consistent and is a valuable asset. But, is Ferrari actually doing the right thing in appointing LeClerc over Raikkonen? One can make the argument that LeClerc is fresh blood and just what Ferrari needs. But to be honest, Raikkonen deserves to keep the seat. We explore the reasons why Ferrari are making a mistake in letting the Finnish veteran go.
Raikkonen Still has Life Left in Him
Since 2015, the veteran has struggled to match the pace of Sebastian Vettel, his teammate. However, in recent times, Kimi has got back some of his mojo and been racking up podiums this season. The lowest he has ever finished was a 6th place in Canada. Apart from a couple of retirements, he has been a consistent point-scorer. He had a podium streak right from France until the Belgian GP, where he was an innocent victim on a multi-car crash. As of now, Raikkonen is lying in 3rd in the drivers championship.
LeClerc May Not Like Being Second Fiddle
Traditionally, Ferrari have always had a number 1 and number 2 driver scene. This has been the case ever since the days of Michael Schumacher or maybe even before his time. Raikkonen usually has no qualms about playing the number 2 card when the situation calls for it. However, one must wonder if LeClerc will easily make way for Vettel when team orders are implemented. Or what if the new kid on the block starts to show Vettel up. Sebastian Vettel to our knowledge has rarely been in a situation where he is on the receiving end of team orders.
LeClerc is Still a Rookie
Let’s not forget the the fact that LeClerc is being called up after a single season with Sauber. Granted, he is quite talented and has been outperforming current teammate Marcus Ericsson. But, aside from a few runs in the Ferrari as a reserve driver, testing is one thing, racing is a different story.