Johannesburg: Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has insisted that he would like to see Finnish driver Kimi Raikonnen staying in as his team-mate at Ferrari in 2019.
There have been speculations that Ferrari are mulling over roping in either Daniel Ricciardo, Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc or Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton as a replacement for Raikonnen for next year.
When asked about the same from Vettel, he said though he is not the one to make the decision, he wants to continue driving with Raikonnen.
“I don’t know. It doesn’t depend on me. One day, Kimi could decide that he doesn’t need it any more. But if you ask the question ‘Would I rather drive with Kimi than another driver?’ then the answer is yes,” Sport24 quoted Raikonnen, as saying.
As far as Hamilton is concerned, the Mercedes driver’s current contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018 season and that he is yet to sign his delayed deal.
Reflecting on his probable move to Ferrari, Hamilton said that he doesn’t”anticipate” being Vettel’s next teammate.
“He (Vettel) has a veto so that wouldn’t happen,” the Mercedes driver added.
Denying the same, Vettel added that he and Raikonnen share same values and have great respect for each other and, therefore, he would like to continue with him.
“We share the same values and have a great respect for one another. What I like most is that I can be myself. There are no mind games as there are with other teammates, and I think that’s a win for Ferrari. There is no controversy, no distraction, no politics,” the German driver said.
Vettel is currently standing at the second spot in the drivers’ championship, trailing by 17 points to Hamilton after five races. (ANI)