Sebastian Vettel has won 14 Formula 1 races with Ferrari, but he still hasn’t achieved the big goal of winning his fifth world title with the world’s oldest racing team. The German still has time for one season. Then the partnership ends.
In the scene, Ferrari does everything it can to blame Sebastian Vettel for failure. It was said that the Scuderia had already decided against him in winter. Carlos Sainz was allowed to openly reveal that he has been negotiating with the team since the beginning of the year. An unnecessary indiscretion directed against Vettel.
But after all two former Formula 1 stars are now jumping on Vettel’s side. One of them drove for the Scuderia himself …
Felipe Massa has completed 139 GP races for Ferrari and therefore knows the team better than anyone else. Only Michael Schumacher (180) and Kimi Raikkonen (152) were behind the wheel more often for Ferrari.
Massa defends Vettel
In any case, Massa does not consider Vettel’s Ferrari-time as a failure. “Many outstanding drivers competed for Ferrari without winning the title. We must not forget that the Italians have been without a constructors’ title since 2008, the last driver world champion was Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Since then the car and the team have simply not been good enough. Fernando Alonso did a great job in 2010. But even then the driver was better than the car,” Massa said to Sky.
The Brazilian continues: “The fact that Vettel ultimately missed the title cannot simply be blamed on the driver. He drove some fabulous races. He won often. And he mostly had his teammates under control. But that changed in 2019 against Charles Leclerc. Sebastian came under pressure internally, maybe that led to Ferrari’s decision.”
Häkkinen senses too much criticism
Ex-double world champion Mika Häkkinen also does not believe that the success due to Vettel has failed to deliver. “I have a feeling that he was pretty disappointed at Ferrari. The joy of teamwork was no longer there for Vettel”, he says in the podcast F1 Nation. “He no longer felt comfortable in the team because he was constantly criticized extremely hard. I think in a team this pressure and criticism has to be spread over several shoulders. It’s never just one’s fault.”
Between 1998 and 2001, as an opponent of Michael Schumacher, Häkkinen experienced what it is like when a driver forms a unit with Ferrari. “Sebastian is a driver I respect very much for everything he has achieved in his career. He has won many titles and celebrated victories. I think that he also did a very good job at Ferrari and won many races. But you also have to say that he never had the car to win the championship. Close, but it was never the fastest car.”
Judging by winter testing, this will probably be the case again this year.
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