Formula 1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn predicts a trickier driver dynamic at Ferrari from 2019 with Charles Leclerc less “accommodating as Kimi” for Sebastian Vettel.

With the standout F1 rookie of 2018 moving up to Ferrari next season, switching places with Kimi Raikkonen who heads to Sauber, former Ferrari chief Brawn feels the driver change will alter the driver partnership at the Italian squad to a more even footing.

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Raikkonen was often considered the number two driver at Maranello alongside Vettel, despite rebukes from within Ferrari, but the pair had a positive teammate relationship – encapsulated at this month’s FIA prize giving gala where both drivers traded compliments at the end of their partnership at Ferrari.

Brawn expects Leclerc to pose a greater challenge to Vettel in 2019 while assessing the “one or two errors” which led to the German’s F1 world title challenge falling short this season.

“I don’t imagine Charles Leclerc is going to be quite as accommodating as Kimi was on occasions,” Brawn said on “Kimi is his own man, don’t get me wrong, but I think Kimi knew what the lay of the land was in the team.

“Seb had a mixed 2018. He’s had some very good performances, and played a big part in taking the team forward, but in the end, Seb and the team didn’t deliver. They had a strong year but they have got to make that next step and deliver – and that’s Seb and the team.

“I don’t know the dynamic or chemistry in the team or Seb’s relationship in the team or how that all works. He made one or two errors, which is unfortunate but with drivers, that can happen. The team seemed to make a wrong turn technically for several races and then they came back again to an older spec which corrected their form.”

Brawn has also shed light on his all-conquering Ferrari team of the early 2000s and how Michael Schumacher’s influence on the technical squad often guided its progress. Schumacher and Ferrari claimed a historic five consecutive F1 world drivers’ and constructors’ titles between 2000-2004.

“As a driver you have to be involved, you can’t be a neutral passenger,” Brawn said, referring to Ferrari’s technical problems in 2018. “I recall when I was at Ferrari, if we had something we were uncertain about, Michael [Schumacher] would be banging my door down to talk about it and spend time with the engineers and work until he got himself comfortable with what was going on.

“That motivates a team and can be a catalyst for people to look at things in a different way or different perspective.”



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