Rivals predict trouble at Ferrari between Vettel & Leclerc in 2020

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With Sebastian Vettel leaving Ferrari at the end of this season, rivals are predicting trouble between him and Charles Leclerc in 2020.

Last year saw a notable case of the apprentice putting one over the master as the Monegasque won more races and beat his much more experienced teammate in the championship in his first season at the team.

In doing so, it also created tensions, notably in Sochi when Vettel appeared to ignore an arrangement made with Leclerc pre-race and most devastatingly in Brazil where the pair took each other out in a collision.

Heading into this year it was claimed those cracks had been repaired and their partnership would be stronger, but McLaren CEO Zak Brown doubts that will be the case.

“In Ferrari’s garage there won’t be a nice environment: at the moment the team doesn’t look like a happy family,” he told Corriere della Sera. “And this situation will lead to exciting races in 2020.

“I think what we have seen in Brazil will have been only a prelude of what we will see this year.”

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Red Bull's outspoken advisor Helmut Marko agrees that Leclerc probably shouldn't expect any favours from his departing teammate.

“Seb will certainly not let himself be told anything,” he reportedly told RTL.

But while many have focused on the Leclerc dynamic as the four-time champion's reason for leaving Maranello, Marko believes pessimism over the team's future competitiveness played a role.

“The fact that Sebastian did not renew his contract is probably due to the fact that he did not see the technical potential that would help him to win another title," the Red Bull advisor suggested.

“If I assume that the test times in Barcelona [from February] have a certain meaningfulness, then I do not think that Ferrari will absolutely belong to the top teams.”

As for what comes next for Vettel, Marko was excited by the now highly unlikely prospect of him joining Mercedes.

“That would be great for motorsport,” he said. “Vettel versus Hamilton in a Mercedes, what could be better?

“Two years ago they would always have first and second place. I hope we [Red Bull] are so close now to preventing that from happening.

“If he doesn’t get the Mercedes seat, it makes sense to take a year off and watch what happens for a year," he added.

“For 2022 there will be a completely new set of regulations and the budget limit. So there will be a complete reorganisation, and I see his situation as an opportunity for him to join a winning team. ”