Sebastian Vettel is rowing back in the fight against Charles Leclerc, admitting his disobedience. For F1 reporter Ralf Bach the wrong way – a commentary:
“A racer needs big balls,” Sebastian Vettel (32) said himself several times during his career. Yes, rather crude but honest words to the question of what makes a racer a true champion.
After the interviews ahead of the Japanese GP in Suzuka, we have to ask what happened to Vettel’s battle cry:
Does he still have the body parts that have been so important to him? Or did Ferrari snip them off after the events in Sochi and the subsequent talks?
Did Ferrari hijack his parts and serve it on a silver platter to his highly laud team-mate and little Ferrari prince – Charles Leclerc?
One could believe so, after Vettel’s most recent statements in Suzuka. All of a sudden he deeply regretted not giving back the position to Leclerc in Sochi.
So did he regret setting up his car for a complete race distance instead of achieving the quickest lap in qualifying?
Did he regret being the quickest in the race and truly deserving the lead after such a phenomenal start?
Kulpa sui! I beg your pardon? Didn’t the little prince Leclerc also break an agreement in Monza? Didn’t he deny in his own kingdom the necessary slipstream in qualifying, which Vettel had expected and so urgently needed?
Leclerc didn’t apologize for it! On the contrary, he rather blamed it on the traffic that Vettel didn’t get the planned pole position, the exact same position he kept for himself.
Where is Vettel the fighter from 2013, who overtook his then-teammate Mark Webber in Malaysia, although the team asked him to stay behind? There, he had the balls to stand by his decision long after his coup d’état.
“Webber didn’t deserve the win,” he replied without much fuss.
Back then he referred to Webber’s ungentlemanlike behavior for all those years together.
The Vettel today, sounds more like someone who is insecure and who worries about his future. Someone who doesn’t really know where he stands within his Ferrari team.
But that is the beginning of the end. Vettel must find his balls again and very quickly so. Because standing to his own principles is even more important than just stepping on the gas pedal.
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.