Charles Leclerc's arrival at Ferrari will give the team, and Sebastian Vettel, added impetus in 2019, according to former F1 driver Alex Zanardi. Leclerc replaces Kimi Raikkonen at the Scuderia next year, with Ferrari embarking on a new era with the Monegasque.
Leclerc will become the second-youngest driver in Ferrari history when he lines up at the Australian Grand Prix, with the team having previously placed much stock in experience over potential.
Vettel is gearing up for a third title charge in as many years, having fallen short against Lewis Hamilton in 2017 and 2018, although Leclerc has been tipped to have his own say in the championship fight.
Zanardi, who raced in F1 for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams, says Vettel should remain top dog at Maranello for the time being, but says Leclerc's arrival is the right move.
"It is a very positive choice, and also useful to give Vettel a little alarm, not that he needs it," Zanardi told Corriere della Sera.
"Raikkonen is still a great champion, but a check was needed. Leclerc's talent is great, but I hope Vettel remains the leader of the team, because in recent times Ferrari's problem was not the drivers.
"Now we need to improve the car and beat Hamilton, who never makes mistakes."
Leclerc is already setting himself lofty targets for his debut season in Scuderia scarlet, having set a goal for himself to win both his and Ferrari's home races – the Monaco and Italian Grands Prix – in 2019.
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