Thuesday, 12 juny 2018, 10:19 , by Martin Macdonald
Former Formula One driver and current motorsport analyst Martin Brundle believes that Ferrari should be "concerned" about the 2018 performances of Kimi Raikkonen in the driver's championship, and that the Finn has "reached the end of the road" of his career at the top level.
Raikkonen is currently placed fifth in the driver rankings after having claimed three podium positions, but his team-mate Sebastian Vettel leads the pack in the top spot, and nearly has double the amount of points of recorded by the Finn despite being in the same car.
Even though Vettel leads the driver's championship, Ferrari are second in the constructor's championship behind Mercedes, and Brundle reckons Raikkonen's current troubles should leave the Scuderia concerned about his future within the team.
"Ferrari have to be concerned about Kimi," said the Sky F1 commentator.
"l know he's one of the most popular drivers around, but after another mistake in qualifying he finished nearly 30 seconds behind his team-mate on Sunday.
"What are they going to do? In my view Kimi has reached the end of the road. He still shows a flash of real speed from time to time but he can't relentlessly deliver the required race pace any more.
"Nor is he working as an effective rear-gunner to Seb.
"Winning the Constructors' Championship is super-important to Ferrari - they don't put the list of their titles on their road car dashboards for fun - and if they want to win it in this era against Red Bull or Mercedes they need a Ricciardo or a Leclerc alongside Vettel next year.
"And Vettel needs to deal with that."
Brundle has suggested Charles Leclerc could be the man to replace Raikkonen for the 2019 season, as he thinks the young rookie has what it takes to don the famous red.
"He clearly has the head for F1, and he just looks like the complete package, even if his picture in the F1 grid graphics make him look like a startled Harry Potter," Brundle continued.
"Ferrari don't often take risks on young drivers but there's a changing of the guard going on between generations.
"The field can be divided into three groups with the likes of Fernando and Kimi at one end, Grosjean and Hulkenberg in the middle ground, and a group of young fliers coming through - and Ferrari don't want to be caught out."