It is currently scattered in various media that Ferrari had already decided against Sebastian Vettel in the winter. F1-Insider Ralf Bach sees it a little differently …
That’s what happens. Back in sandpit times you think you have found your love for life. Only that then it was so far away, so unreachable and unapproachable, that it was reasonably placed in the back cooler of your soul until it was forgotten.
But then, many years later, with many notches in the gun and growing into a man, childhood love suddenly made contact. And, whether you like it or not, love immediately thawed again. It had just zoomed in, heart and pants triumphed, the brain had no chance. Heart and pants had no doubt that you belonged together forever and therefore had to step in front of the altar. The brain was no longer admitted to the crucial session. That was the story of why Sebastian Vettel came to Ferrari in 2015.
However: the story went on. In the beginning, Vettel really saw everything pink in his honeymoon with his great love from Italy. They cuddled together in public, held hands and left out no way to tell the world how much they loved each other.
But then, not in the darn seventh year of marriage, but already in the fifth, everything changed. Suddenly, a younger man came around the corner, and the supposedly great love was falling in love with someone else. All the youngster did was right, what you yourself did wrong. It quickly became clear: The great love became a diva, which the brain had warned against in the beginning. The butterfly had mutated into a caterpillar.
Now, thank God, the brain was brought out of exile again and replaced heart and pants as a guide for life issues. The brain quickly decided: only a divorce still makes sense.
That was the story in quick succession why Vettel parted ways with Ferrari on Tuesday. Who now thinks that the younger man, who turned the head of the Ferrari diva, is called Charles Leclerc, is correct.
There was no specific time when Vettel was aware of the failure of the marriage to Ferrari, but with the appearance of Leclerc in the team, the disaster for the German began. Vettel called the failure in the official press release as follows: “To get the best possible results in this sport, it is essential for everyone involved to work in perfect harmony. The team and I realized that there was no longer a common desire to stay together after this season.”
At the latest when Ferrari offered “Everybody’s Darling” Leclerc a five-year contract, which he immediately accepted, the Heppenheimer knew who the future was for the diva from Maranello – and who the past and discontinued model. It was sober and bitter at the same time, but there was no other way out for him than: “I have to get out of here.”
To defend Vettel – and what few people know: Even his great role model Michael Schumacher wanted to leave for McLaren-Mercedes in 1998. Only the then Mercedes CEO Jürgen Schrempp prevented the deal at the last second and involuntarily ensured the story that Schumacher then wrote with Ferrari.
However: Already in the middle of the year, during long conversations with the four-time world champion, I felt that maybe the love for the diva had not yet gone, but there was no confidence that times could change again. Too much had happened. Too many personnel rochades, too much domestic politics.
You have to imagine: Vettel still had his first negotiations with Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali. They liked each other, they valued each other.
But then he was gone, Ferrari had sent him to the desert. Now the German had to conduct the last crucial negotiations with a Signore Mattiacci. Ferrari had dug out the mid-forties model with its fashionable bag and sunglasses from its New York branch to lead the Formula 1 team. Before Vettel could convince himself of his abilities, the next one came.
This time, Ferrari borrowed the new executive from its long-time sponsor Philip Morris. The scowling Marlboro man Maurizio Arrivabene did not have enough time to prove that he could not only sell cigarettes, but was also able to lead a top Formula 1 team. Because before that, his intimate enemy, chief of technology Mattia Binotto, came around the corner. The man with a Harry Potter flair had simply enchanted Arrivabene in the internal power struggle and had taken care of his Arrivederci.
Trusting a magician was too much for the down-to-earth German. In addition, there was speculation about the illegal Ferrari drive. His decision to leave Ferrari was made in the middle of last year. Only heart and pants didn’t know it yet.
The question remains, what Vettel doing now? I don’t think he knows yet. He first needs a certain amount of time to decide whether he still has enough fire within himself to continue the sport he loved so much, to which he has subordinated everything for years. If the fire continues to blaze and Mercedes is willing, his way could lead to Mercedes. Into a winning team that should finally give him the long-awaited fifth world title. If the German decides to do so, this time it would be a decision that the brain, heart and pants take together.
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