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2018 F1

Villeneuve urges Ferrari to retain Raikkonen



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It was recently announced that Kimi Raikkonen will be spending another year at Ferrari, however, alongside Sebastian Vettel. It’s a scenario that Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 world champion, is encouraging the Ferrari camp to maintain in the times to come. Ferrari hasn’t had everything going for them both in the F1 competition as well as elsewhere. You might not be aware, but Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport SVR recently shattered Ferrari’s Tianmen mountain road record. On the F1 front, they have fallen further behind in the standings, and are hopeful of getting their act together after the summer break.

Charles Leclerc is getting a good look-in

Charles Leclerc, is another one of the impressive young guns to emerge on the F1 circuit. He has made a solid case for himself over the past year and is being considered for promotion at Ferrari, after having enjoyed an impressive rookie season with Sauber. Many are of the opinion that it would be a tossup between Raikonnen and Leclerc, however, the smart money is essentially on the veteran driver getting into the driver’s seat as he fulfils all the criteria, including having a healthy working relationship with Sebastian Vettel, as well as a strong connection with Maurizio Arrivabene, the Ferrari Chief.

Villeneuve’s take

Upon being asked if Kimi Raikkonen deserved another year at Ferrari, during an interview for “Beyond the Grid” recently, Villeneuve stated, “Of course! Look how well he has been doing. He is third in the championship, he’s often quicker than Vettel and when he is not he is a tenth or so behind, he is paramount in the development of the car. The whole team works fantastically well now. Put a young cub next to Vettel, what will Vettel do? He will try eat him alive, he will either destroy the young cub or it will end in tears and the team will end up going slower within two years.”

Even though Leclerc seems destined to get into Ferrari cockpit someday, as per Villeneuve the 20 year old requires some grooming right now. He continues to make a few mistakes here and there. While it would be an excellent move for Leclerc, Ferrari will only end up preparing him for the next two years. In his opinion, Ferrari is quite like Mercedes as it’s not a team that prepares driver, rather pays the top ones and gets them on board. The preparation part is usually handled by the junior teams.

Kimi’s gotten better after a kid

While the myth or legend is that racing drivers normally slow down after they have had kids, the exact opposite is happening in case of the 38-year old Finn driver. He became a father for the second time in 2017. Kimi Raikkonen has been quite chatty lately and been doing all the right talk. He is evolving more as a person now than he has ever in the past. All this is helping him give his best on the track too. While many people are of the opinion that you lose at least one second per kid on the F1 track, in case of Kimi the exact opposite is happening. It seems as if he’s actually been gaining in the F1 game lately.


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