Sebastian Vettel admits that he is sad to lose Kimi Raikkonen as his teammate, stating that the Finn was his best ever partner in a team. Raikkonen confirmed earlier this week that he would be leaving Ferrari and re-join Sauber, where he began his F1 career in 2001.
Vettel and Raikkonen have partnered each other since 2015 at the Maranello squad, and both have frequently commented on the “no bullshit” relationship that they share.
“One thing you can express in numbers and results and so on but I think that’s not the most important thing,” Vettel said on the build-up to this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. “The most important thing if you are teammates is the respect that you have for each other.
“And probably the degree of bullshit going on between each other. With Kimi it’s been zero from the start and I don’t think it will change until the end. Obviously it’s a great chance for Charles [Leclerc] but it’s sad to know Kimi is not there any more because I think we get along very well even though we are different we have a lot of mutual respect.”
Leclerc will replace Raikkonen at Ferrari despite 2018 being the Monegasque driver’s rookie season in the sport. Vettel revealed that he hasn’t been in contact with the 20-year-old with the announcement but says there is plenty of time to do so.
“He’s been in the junior programme of the team for a long time so it’s good to see there is progression. I don’t have his number. These days I’m sure he was very busy anyway. If I get to see him then I’m sure I will find the right words. By the sounds of it we will have enough time to exchange our phone number in future.”