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Villeneuve urges Ferrari to retain Raikkonen

NEWS STORY
16/08/2018

It's not often that we find ourselves agreeing with Jacques Villeneuve, but in this particular instance we do.

The 1997 world champion has called on Ferrari to drop the notion of promoting Charles Leclerc just yet and instead retain Kimi Raikkonen for another season alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Though the feisty Finn has yet to make it to the top step of the podium this year, he has given his illustrious teammate a run for his money. Third in the standings, albeit 43 points adrift of the German, Raikkonen has claimed 8 podium finishes this season with successive visits to the podium in the last five races.

Though regularly out-qualified by his teammate, the Finn usually gives a good account of himself on Sunday afternoons this year and but for an unsafe release in Bahrain and engine issue in Spain may well have been even closer to Vettel's points tally.

"Look at the work he been doing," argues Villeneuve in the latest Beyond the Grid podcast for the official F1 website. "He's third in the championship, he's often quicker than Vettel and when he's not he's just a tenth behind. "e's paramount in the development of the car. The whole team works fantastically well now.

"Put a young cub next to Vettel and what will Vettel do? He'll try to eat him alive," suggests the Canadian. "Either he will destroy the young cub or it will end in tears and the whole team will end up going slower within two years. That's not constructive."

Turning his attention to Leclerc, Villeneuve insists that the Monegasque youngster is not yet ready for the move up to Ferrari.

"Charles is still making a few mistakes," he said. "It would be amazing for him, but it would be two years of Ferrari preparing him.

"Ferrari, like Mercedes, is not a team to prepare drivers. It's a top team. Top teams they pay for the drivers when they are at their best and when they want them. That's why you have junior teams, to prepare them."

The article was compiled by Sara Johnson, journalist and contributor to essay writing service Pro-Papers.

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