Raikkonen to Sauber, Leclerc to Ferrari in 2019 F1 guessing game | Racing News
As hypothesis surrounding the 2019 drivers market intensified following Mercedes’ affirmation that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are being retained, Raikkonen’s seat at Ferrari was a spotlight of consideration.
Monegasque rising star Leclerc has reeled off a sequence of spectacular performances to put in himself as a number one candidate to companion championship chief Sebastian Vettel subsequent yr — if Ferrari determined to make a change of their line-up.
Vasseur admitted he was conscious of the likelihood that Raikkonen may return to the group the place he began his profession and stay inside the Ferrari “household”.
He mentioned it might be no downside for his group.
“I wish to have the very best guys within the automotive, that is a very powerful for the group, and no sacrifice with efficiency,” he mentioned.
“It’s significantly better to have a world champion than somebody who received nothing.
“I’m simply centered on efficiency. An important for me is to have the very best line-up for subsequent yr and the long run. That’s my solely concern.”
Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001.
Leclerc, 20, a Ferrari protege, remains to be in his rookie season after making his debut in Australia this yr.
Vasseur added: “We’ll focus on it with Ferrari. It isn’t a matter of rights, however we are going to focus on it collectively.”
On a day of many switch rumours within the Hockenheim paddock, Williams’ technical chief Paddy Lowe conceded that his group remained open-minded about retaining, or shedding, Canadian teenager Lance Stroll subsequent season.
Stroll has been linked with Pressure India for 2019 after struggling in Williams’ disappointing season and with assist from his billionaire father, one of many richest businessmen in Canada, he’s a gorgeous possibility.
“I am not fearful about it — it is that point of season when there are quite a lot of tales about drivers,” mentioned Lowe.
“We might love to stick with Lance, however we’re at an open level.”