Charles Leclerc should not feel that there is any rush to get himself into Ferrari, says Sebastian Vettel, despite ongoing speculation suggesting he could replace Kimi Raikkonen as early as next year.
On the back of some impressive showings this season, Leclerc has emerged as the prime candidate to line up alongside Vettel in 2019 if Ferrari decides that Raikkonen is not worth keeping.
Speaking ahead of the German Grand Prix, Vettel said that he felt both men would be a good fit for Ferrari – but was clear that time was clearly on Leclerc's side if a move did not happen now.
Asked if he had a strong preference to keep Raikkonen as his teammate, Vettel said: "I would be happy to continue like that but it is not for me to mention, or to decide.
"I think Charles, one way or the other, will have a great career. He is a great guy, he is fast and has everything. He has no rush. He is young, but if you are young you are always in a rush with everything!
"I don't know when or what and ultimately who [my teammate will be]. 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 into the team."
Vettel says he has no complaints about the way his partnership with Raikkonen is working, even though they have sometimes had on-track tangles.
"I like Kimi," explained Vettel. "We get along, and we have never had any issues. Sometimes on track I remember I drove into him and crashed into him, but the way we handle things is very similar and very straightforward."
Leclerc himself insisted he was fully focused on his Sauber role and not paying attention to speculation.
"Obviously it's always a pleasure to see when there are some articles about me going to Ferrari, because obviously it's a dream since [I was a] child.
"But on the other hand, it's not so difficult for me to come to the race weekend and to switch to the racing mindset and to be fully focussed on the job I have to do.
"When I'm at the track I definitely don't think about any rumours or anything at all."
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|Drivers||Sebastian Vettel Shop Now , Charles Leclerc|
|Teams||Ferrari Shop Now|