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Sebastian Vettel looks like a shadow of himself

2020-08-18 12:30

Sean Parker

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 16: Sebastian Vettel of

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 16: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari walks to the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on August 16, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

• Sebastian Vettel will finish his contract with Ferrari at the end of 2020

• The German driver won four consecutive world drivers' titles with Red Bull 

• Vettel is yet to sign a contract with a new team and has been heavily linked to Racing Point

Sebastian Vettel is languishing in twelfth place in the current Formula 1 drivers' standings after five races with 16 points.  

Lewis Hamilton, a man who has won two more world drivers' championships than Vettel, has over eight times more points than the German. 

Vettel is out of contract at the end of the 2020 season, and despite a glowing performance in Barcelona in the last race he hasn't been in a great form. 

Vettel said to Sky Italia after the Spanish Grand Prix: "My opinion is no longer important. Apart from everything, the car is what it is and we are trying to do our best, it's a tough season for everyone." 

The SF1000 has been off the pace since the start of the delayed season in July and Vettel has made it clear he has struggled with finding a good rhythm with the car.

However, he managed a season-best finish of seventh place and earned the driver of the day award for a brilliant performance. He managed to do 37-lap stint on one set of soft tyres, but for the second race in a row, the tension between driver and engineer was palpable. 

"Ah for fuck's sake," snapped Vettel. "I asked you this before, and now I've been pushing for three laps."

The German asked his engineer to work out how fast he needed to lap to finish the race without having to pit in the race again. The multiple world champion showed his mettle and ultimately bagged a couple of points in the process. 

It's a far cry from the German's exploits in the pre-hybrid era when he won four consecutive titles in the Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull. 

sebastian vettel
 Image: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP


The 33-year-old is also seemingly not on good terms with Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. The German will be replaced by Carlos Sainz Jnr next year. 

But it was how Ferrari orchestrated the divorce with Vettel that would have left a sour taste in the mouth of the German. 

Ferrari said the two parties couldn't agree on an extension to the current deal, Vettel came out and announced at the first race of the season that he was surprised to get a call from Binotto to say they wouldn't need his services any longer. 

The Italian team were secretly courting Sainz and getting ready to unveil him as Charles Leclerc's 2021 team mate. There was a break down of trust from Ferrari's side, and that must've affected his mindset. 

Asked on Sky Sports if he still trusts Ferrari, Vettel said: "I'm not trying to get into any of this, I'm just trying to do my job. At the moment it's not plain sailing or calm it's a rather rough sea, but I have to do the best I can which is staying focused, being fairly open-minded and trying to tackle it."

Sportsmen thrive on confidence. The German lacks it, and it's derived from the breakdown between the two parties pre-season and clearly over race weekends too. 

It's sad to see Vettel finish off his career at Ferrari in this manner. Let's hope he can salvage some honour before he leaves to another team. 

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