Just_a_fan wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:28 pm
It rather depends what Leclerc's contract says, I'd guess. If Leclerc's signed up to a definite, written in blood, number 2 position then Vettel won't worry. If he's not worried he'll drive better and so be able to outpace the youngster.
I'm very doubtful of that. If this year has shown anything, then that Vettels position in the team isn't as strong or 'good' as it used to. And Monza also highlighted something rather interesting in how Ferrari have managed both drivers; I recall that Kimi was allowed to win given how he qualified, so I'm assuming Ferrari obviously deal with things similar to Mercedes in that the driver who qualifies ahead doesn't have to drive for the other, or at least not until the team intervene with team-strategy or something.
Either way, irrespective what was signed in contracts, if Leclerc ends up being faster in qualifying, how would Ferrari manage who is number 1 or number 2? It just doesn't work. They certainly will not ask one of their drivers to purposely drive slower in qualifying so that the other has it easier.
That's why I really don't get this talk about number 1 status or not. A number 1 status (if one exists) may give you priority to updates, better staff etc, but they can't dictate who is faster unless they compromise their own race which would be idiotic.
Between Vettel and Kimi, Vettel just had it easy given the fact he usually qualified ahead. Despite all the mistakes Vettel may have made this year, he still has been the naturally faster driver of the two. I really rate Leclerc though, so I'm really interested to see who comes out on top. I wouldn't be surprised if Leclerc ends up being faster.
And to be frank; I personally think Vettel will perform better as a result of having a more competitive team-mate. Hamilton also got better as a result of the strong team-mates he has had. It's the only way to better yourself and see your own flaws if you're not always the benchmark. This change might just be good for Vettel.