The arrival of Charles Leclerc at Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow should serve as an alarm for Sebastian Vettel, according to Alex Zanardi.
Ferrari will welcome Leclerc into the Italian team, after impressing in his rookie season with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. He will partner alongside the veteran four-time world champion Vettel for the 2019 season, who’ll both hope to bring success back to Ferrari after two years of finishing second place behind Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
Kimi Räikkönen, who previously served as Vettel’s team-mate at Ferrari for four years will return to Sauber, the team he started in F1 with back in 2001.
Both in 2017 and 2018, Vettel and Ferrari lost the chance to take the world championship due to several mistakes and errors in the final stages of the championship, helping Lewis Hamilton to claim both titles.
Former F1 driver and Paralympic paracyclist champion Alex Zanardi told Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera that the arrival of Leclerc at Ferrari should create some alarm bells for Vettel.
“It is a very positive choice, and also useful to give Vettel a little alarm, not that he needs it,” said Zanardi
“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.”
Ferrari have undergone changes behind the scenes with Mattia Binotto appointed as the new team principal of the team, replacing Maurizio Arrivabene.
Zanardi, who stunned the world of sport in his comeback after having both legs amputated in a IndyCar crash in 2001, added that he wishes Robert Kubica well as he makes his return to F1 in 2019. Kubica suffered several injuries on his arm in a Rallying accident in 2011, halting him to return to the sport until Williams Racing decided to sign the Polish driver on.
“Just like me, he has limitations that prevent him from doing everything he did before. It’s called disability, but it’s rather relative,” the Italian added.
“There is no man who can fly, but we scratched our heads and now it is normal to take a plane.”