Ferrari usually grabs the moment to confirm its line-up at Monza, its home grand prix. But this year the issue is much more complicated, as there is a sound discordance deriving from the company’s recent leadership change following Marchionne’s passing.
In the wake of the rumours that emerged throughout the Italian GP, it seems that Ferrari now holds 2 contracts on the table. Charles Leclerc’s deal was done back in June, as Sergio Marchionne had pushed for the arrival of the Monegasque, whereas Ferrari’s current management captained by Louis Camilleri would lean towards Kimi Raikkonen’s confirmation for 2019.
Italian press claimed Leclerc had signed a 2-year contract for 2019 and 2020, worth 2 million euros and the 21-year-old’s brilliant progression in the first half of the season was corroborating and highlighting his links with Ferrari. Unfortunately Leclerc’s spotlight brutally faded away as Marchionne’s illness took over the media.
Kimi Raikkonen appears to be back in control of the situation, now that his long-time friend Camilleri is at the helm of Ferrari, but after the disastrous Italian GP for the Maranello-based squad everything is debatable and unstable.
Sebastian Vettel is now 30 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton as a result of yesterday’s costly mistake at the start. He was caught by surprise by fellow four-time world champion and binned a potential podium finish, which was the minimum he could aspire for, given the SF71-H’s superiority. More errors pile up of Vettel’s tally this year, as the German does not seem to cope with pressure while wearing a red suit.
Engineering legend Mauro Forghieri harshly slammed Vettel’s blunder per Italian website Formulapassion, claiming that the error came straight from his head, and the driver was not going to realise how his manoeuvre would favour his rival any time soon. According to Forghieri, Vettel ‘lacked in vision’. “Hamilton was feeling galvanized by his disadvantaged grid position -he continued- and Vettel flipped out once again from the front row. And Kimi lost the race. What a great line-up of title contenders with such a competitive car, totally capable of winning the title.”
As Forghieri’s rant and debunking process towards Vettel goes on, the engineer’s speech takes an interesting turn. If the Italian was to decide the destiny of Scuderia Ferrari, he would drop the German from the 2019 line-up and field Raikkonen and Leclerc, which would charge Ferrari way less.
Raikkonen stands for the team’s much-needed amount of coldness, far off from the Latin and passionate attitude displayed by Vettel. Leclerc stands for freshness and represents a reliable candidate to bring Ferrari forward while growing professionally at the same time.
Vettel’s grave gap (and series of unfortunate moves) to Hamilton automatically puts his role and figure to test, as perfection is required and mandatory in the next seven races. Raikkonen’s number two role definitely makes Ferrari less pretentious, but the team has to take Vettel’s frequent failures into account, which always puts the Finn on alert to fill the gap and limit the damage.
No simple task has been handed to them, but one thing is for certain: Charles Leclerc will have his say on this and he could be called up sooner than later, especially if his signature has been already laid on paper.