After Sebastian Vettel fell afoul of the weather conditions in Hockenheim, the Italian press was in no mood for forgiveness. The German had victory in his sights at his home circuit before his Ferrari slid into the barrier.
“That was a dark moment in his career,” said 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg. “He had a home win and the chance to extend his championship lead on Hamilton, and he threw it all away.”
The Italian media, who are generally very passionate about racing were just as hard on Vettel.
“His mistake is devastating and could be why Ferrari loses the world championship,” La Gazzetta dello Sport declared. La Gazetta is one of the most well-known Italian publications
Another Italian paper, La Stampa added: “The German has made at least four mistakes in eleven races.
“The talent of the world champion is not questioned, but his exaggerated zest is hurting Ferrari’s season.”
Meanwhile, yet another Italian news publication Corriere della Sera, heaped praises on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. They marvelled at his “masterpiece of assertiveness and concentration”. The media were particularly impressed with Hamilton’s come from the back victory to re-take the title lead.
“The behaviour of the two star drivers makes the difference,” it said.
However, Vettel has found support from an unlikely source, Max Verstappen. The Dutch youngster confessed that the German’s error “could have happened to any of us” in the treacherous conditions.
“I don’t need pity,” Vettel declared. “It was my fault. When everything goes well you are cheered, and if you make mistakes you are criticised. So I don’t care much about what people say. I have to be at peace with myself.”
Now, all Sebastian Vettel can do is put this disappointment behind him and focus on Hungary this weekend.