The identity of who will be partnering Sebastian Vettel in 2019 has been a widely debated topic this year. Sauber’s rising star Charles Leclerc has been linked to the seat that Ferrari veteran Kimi Raikkonen occupies.
But, Ferrari are keeping their cards close to their chests and have not given any hints. Raikkonen, for his part, has turned in his strongest challenge so far this season. But, knowing the media, there are still speculations about a potential move for Leclerc to the Prancing Horse.
The Ferrari junior has been in solid form in his rookie season. The Monegasque driver has scored points in five of the last seven races for Sauber. That dynamic could have been six, if not for a pesky loose wheel at Silverstone.
LeClerc has had incredible one-lap pace, reaching Q2 in each of the last seven races. He even snuck into Q3 twice in the last three. The youngster has even beaten his more experienced team mate Marcus Ericsson.
Vettel said that he had no say in who would partner him in 2019. However, he did mention that both Raikkonen and Leclerc “suit” the team. He also stated that Leclerc need not rush to step up.
“I like Kimi, we get along, we never have an issue,” said Vettel. “Sometimes on track, I remember I drove into him, I’ve crashed into him, but the way we handle things is very similar, very straightforward. It’s great for the team.”
He added: “I would be happy to continue like that, but it is not for me to mention or to decide.
“Charles, one way or the other, will have a great career. He is a great guy, he is fast, he’s got everything. So yeah, definitely, he has no rush. He is young, but if you are young you are always in a rush with everything. I don’t know.
“I don’t know when, what and ultimately who [will be his team mate in 2019] but it doesn’t really matter to me. For me it is clear where I am next year, but I think both of them would suit the team.”