Formula 1
Formula 1
30 Apr
-
03 May
FP1 in
70 days
07 May
-
10 May
FP1 in
77 days
21 May
-
24 May
FP1 in
90 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
FP1 in
105 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
FP1 in
112 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
FP1 in
126 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
FP1 in
133 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
FP1 in
147 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
FP1 in
161 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
FP1 in
189 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
FP1 in
196 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
FP1 in
210 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
FP1 in
217 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
FP1 in
245 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
FP1 in
252 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
FP1 in
266 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
FP1 in
280 days

Leclerc "having a negative effect" on Ferrari - Villeneuve

shares
comments
Leclerc "having a negative effect" on Ferrari - Villeneuve
By:
May 2, 2019, 9:53 AM

Jacques Villeneuve says Charles Leclerc is "having a negative effect" on Ferrari, because the team wasn't ready to manage a competition between Sebastian Vettel and its ambitious young protege.

Former world champion Villeneuve stresses that Leclerc was ready to graduate for a top team after his single season with Sauber, but says that his presence has unbalanced Ferrari and unsettled Vettel.

"If you listen to any fan or go on the forums, even the qualifying accident [in Baku], Leclerc doesn't get criticised," Villeneuve told Motorsport.com, referring to the Monegasque's crash during qualifying in Azerbaijan.

"If it had been Vettel, he would have been destroyed by the media and everyone, for the same mistake.

"Ultimately I think that's having a negative effect for the team. Seb's spin in Bahrain came because of that, then the team orders in China, it all comes from there.

"And Leclerc's accident in qualifying also, wanting to prove that he's the number one of the team. Ultimately that's damaging the whole team.

"I hope it re-balances out, because they should have been the one that's being chased by Mercedes, and instead they've got three podiums, and that's it. It's not had a good positive effect on the team, that's all."

Villeneuve says that knowing that it was in a position to launch a strong title challenge in 2019, Ferrari should have maintained stability by keeping Kimi Raikkonen, and thus ensuring that Vettel felt comfortable.

"Leclerc is quick, he personally is ready," Villeneuve said. "It's Ferrari that's not ready for this kind of situation.

"If you take Leclerc's perspective, it's great to be there this year, for him it's amazing, and he's shown that he's super quick.

"But if you take Ferrari as a team, you have to look at Vettel's past, and you have to remember Ricciardo when he joined Red Bull. Seb needs to know that he's loved by the team, and by the fans, and that's gone this year."

Villeneuve believes that the team could have kept Raikkonen for another year, pointing out that Mercedes had opted for stability by keeping Valtteri Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton when Esteban Ocon was an obvious option.

"They already had Leclerc, so they could have given him a contract for 2020 and 2021, and kept Kimi for just one year, because this was the year to fight. Then everybody's happy, because you give them time in advance, it doesn't unbalance anything.

"That's not saying Leclerc is not good, he's amazing, he's super quick, he deserves to be there, that's not the issue. But the way Ferrari operates, the way Seb is, he needs this kind of love around him, and it was just not the right move.

"Look what they did at Mercedes, and look how strong it is this year. If they had put Ocon there, Lewis would have reacted the same way – he would have wanted to eat him alive straight away, and destroy him.

"But there's respect with Bottas, and even if they both have two victories, Lewis doesn't seem to be upset about it. That wasn't the case with Nico [Rosberg] for example, and that really allows the team to perform at a level that it almost hasn't performed at before."

 

Next article
Red Bull plans "fairly subtle" upgrade package for Spain

Previous article

Red Bull plans "fairly subtle" upgrade package for Spain

Next article

Sainz: McLaren still needs to improve in "every area"

Sainz: McLaren still needs to improve in "every area"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari Shop Now
Author Adam Cooper