Sebastian Vettel says his six years at Ferrari have been ‘a rollercoaster’

Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has described his six years at Ferrari as “a rollercoaster ride” as he heads into his final race with the team in Abu Dhabi.

The four-time champion said he felt an “emotional attachment” to Ferrari, but admitted he and the team had “failed” because they did not win the title.

Vettel said: “Looking back, there were a lot of things we should have and could have done better.

“The main thing is to make sure I learn from it, and I have grown from it.”

The 33-year-old is joining Aston Martin next year – the new name for the team currently known as Racing Point – after Ferrari told him before this season even started that they would not be renewing his contract.

Vettel said both he and the team had made mistakes over their time together, and pinpointed the 2018 season as being “decisive for many things”.

Ferrari had a competitive car two years ago and Vettel led the championship for much of the first part of the season, only for a crash when he was leading the German Grand Prix to halt their momentum. It was the first of a series of driver errors as Ferrari’s season fell apart, and Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton grew stronger over the second part of the year.

There were also off-track disruptions, including the death of Ferrari’s influential president Sergio Marchionne in the summer.

“In the ’18 season, we had the passing of Mr Marchionne, the change in (team) leadership from Maurizio (Arrivabene) to Mattia (Binotto). Maybe the ’18 year was decisive for many things. But I don’t know if you can break it down into only one thing.“

Vettel also highlighted Ferrari’s decision to split with technical director James Allison in 2016, saying: “In 2016, we parted ways with James because of personal conflicts at the time.”

The Englishman, regarded as one of F1’s finest technical minds, joined Mercedes in 2017 and has overseen their continued success over the last four years.

Vettel added: “We were up against a very strong team-driver combination, one of the strongest we have seen so far, but our goal was to be stronger than that and we failed. There are reasons for that. We had good and bad races. We got close and sometimes were far away.”

He admitted that being a Ferrari driver in difficult times meant dealing with pressure but said that was not the cause of the difficulties he faced.

“It sounds nice and it adds a little bit of drama to everything,” he said, “but I am definitely not holding that as an excuse for coming short here and there. If you are ambitious to win and you have the target to win and succeed, you are the first one to realise that yourself. It isn’t depending on the pressure from outside.

“Overall, I feel much more comfortable or in a better place now than those years ago but at the time it hasn’t always been easy or straightforward.”

Criticism of the FIA

Vettel also weighed in on the row over the handling of the ‘young driver’ test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Renault have been given permission for two-time champion Fernando Alonso to drive, but governing body the FIA has not allowed Vettel’s replacement Carlos Sainz to try out a Ferrari, or Vettel to drive a Racing Point.

“If you allow Fernando then basically you have to allow everyone,” Vettel said.

“So I think the governance should take a fair decision – which in this case I don’t think they did because otherwise Carlos, and some others and myself maybe, would have had the opportunity to test.”

Still no word on Hamilton

George Russell

George Russell said on Thursday that he still did not know whether he would be continuing with Mercedes for a second weekend as Hamilton’s replacement.

Hamilton contracted coronavirus 11 days ago and was forced to miss the last race in Bahrain. Russell starred in the world champion’s car and was robbed of a victory by a pit-stop mix-up and a puncture.

Russell said: “I’m unsure – we’re still waiting to get Lewis’ results back. For now, we are going ahead as planned and if Lewis returns with a negative result, he will be back in the car.”

Russell said a suggestion he had made after the race that he could potentially race for Mercedes in 2021 was “just a throwaway remark in the heat of the moment – obviously emotions were high and what have you. Ultimately, I have a contract and I am a Williams driver for 2021.”

As last weekend, Russell’s replacement at Williams will be Briton Jack Aitken, if Hamilton is not cleared to race.

In theory, Mercedes could wait as late as Saturday for Hamilton to test negative, as the latest time a driver can get in the car and be eligible to race is for qualifying.

But in practice they may feel they do not want to wait that long as it would be disruptive for both teams and compromise the potential for a good result if the 22-year-old drove for Mercedes on Friday and switched to Williams on Saturday.

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds

Articles You May Like

Source: Broncos give Meinerz four-year extension
Yanks-O’s benches clear after Kjerstad hit in helmet
Source: Reds’ Burns breaks Skenes’ bonus record
England vs West Indies 2nd Test Day 1 Highlights: Ton-Up Ollie Pope Leads England To 416 All Out Against West Indies
Yuvraj Singh Snubs MS Dhoni As He Names His All-Time XI. See Full List

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *