Formula 1

Raikkonen: Leclerc will thrive if he avoids Ferrari F1 team hassle

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Kimi Raikkonen believes Charles Leclerc can thrive at Ferrari if he does not get distracted by the extra “hassle” that surrounds the Italian Formula 1 outfit.

Raikkonen has effectively swapped places with Leclerc, after agreeing a multi-year deal to race for the Alfa Romeo team that has taken Sauber’s name for 2019.

Speaking to Autosport, Raikkonen said life at Ferrari is much easier for drivers if they do not get involved in some activities at Maranello and instead focus on driving.

“He [Leclerc] knows the team, because he’s been with Ferrari for quite a few years now, so it’s not like he is going in a new place,” explained Raikkonen. “And he has experience from F1.

“It is a special place to be.

“It’s a bit of hassle at certain times, but that’s how it’s always been, and it’s easier [for him] not to get involved in too many things and just do what he is hired to do.

“Often we are used to things being done [in a certain way], but in Ferrari sometimes it is a bit [different].

“If that doesn’t disturb you, it’s good. Don’t get involved and then just do what they ask you.

“And because he knows the people – he worked with them [already] – it should be quite easy and smooth.”

Raikkonen said he only found out about the departure of his former Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene through a friend.

“I think I read it the same like everybody else,” he said.

“Or actually I didn’t read. My mum’s boyfriend asked me, ‘Did you see?’ I said, ‘No’ because we were in Finland, and not interested to see any news.

“I had no idea. I have no idea [about the] reasons and [it’s] not my business to know either and to get involved.”

Speaking about his prospects for the 2019 season, Raikkonen said the key for him was simply to enjoy racing at Alfa Romeo.

“For sure here is more relaxed,” he said.

“It’s more about racing, and less about politics and bullshit.

“Generally that’s easier for everybody. I think that’s what everybody prefers.”

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