Vettel 'sad' at Raikkonen's Ferrari exit

Thursday, 13 september 2018, 13:52 , by Matthew Scott

Sebastian Vettel says he is "sad" to see Kimi Raikkonen departing Ferrari, having labelled the Finn his best team-mate in Formula 1. Vettel and Raikkonen have regularly talked up their partnership for the Scuderia, something both have put down to a distinct lack of "bullshit".

Charles Leclerc will replace Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, having impressed in his rookie F1 season at Sauber after winning GP3 and Formula 2 in successive years.

Leclerc says he expects to be a title challenger in 2019 if Ferrari once again produce a competitive car, potentially putting Vettel's harmonious life at Maranello under threat.

Vettel had a famously fractious relationship with Mark Webber at Red Bull, and is likely to miss Raikkonen when he departs for Sauber.

Asked if Raikkonen was his favourite stable-mate, Vettel told Sky Sports: "Absolutely. One thing you can express in numbers and results and so on but I think that's not the most important thing.

"The most important thing if you are team mates is the respect that you have for each other.

"And probably the degree of bullshit going on between each other. With Kimi it's been zero from the start and I don't think it will change until the end.

"Obviously it's a great chance for Charles but it's sad to know Kimi is not there any more because I think we get along very well even though we are different we have a lot of mutual respect."

Although disappointed to see Raikkonen leave, Vettel has backed the decision to give Leclerc a chance at a young age.

"He's been in the junior programme of the team for a long time so it's good to see there is progression."

MORE:  Vettel warned Leclerc wants F1 title at Ferrari

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