Despite Baku F1 Heroics, Berger Explains Why Sebastian Vettel is Past His ‘Zenith’

Published 06/13/2021, 6:54 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Sebastian Vettel had a poor last season at Ferrari, that saw the finish in thirteenth place with just 33 points in the driver’s standings. When he joined Aston Martin for 2021, it took some time for things to take off. And it did arrive as his best finish yet was at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where he came P2.

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However, former F1 driver Gerhard Berger feels that the four-time world champion has passed his prime and is slowly heading for decline. He further states that Vettel isn’t taking risks like he used to and playing it safe.

Berger feels that Sebastian Vettel isn’t the driver he once was

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In an interview with Sport1.de, Berger said, “More and more often, he demands that a car must match his driving style. This shows that he is already above his zenith in terms of speed and willingness to take risks.”

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“With his rucksack of experience, he can still have three or four good years. In any case, I know how it was for me: I had my driving peak between 27 and 30. After that, things slowly went downhill,” he concluded. (Translated from German via Google)

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What more did the Austrian driver say about Vettel?

In his new chapter with the Silverstone-based outfit, Vettel did have a rough patch in the beginning but found himself in Monte Carlo. At the Monaco GP, Vettel came home fifth and later in Baku came home second, giving Aston Martin their first podium of the season. Although Berger feels that Vettel has lost his old self, he still acknowledges his abilities as a four-time F1 champion.

He said, “Monaco was also good. Sebastian has always had problems being fully motivated when he had to drive around in midfield. If he can drive up front, he will eat blood, make no more mistakes and perform at full capacity.”

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel wears a hat on top of his cap as he celebrates on the podium after finishing in second place Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

“But I have to say one thing: he is a four-time world champion, has 120 podium positions – he is one of the best drivers of all time. You forget that very quickly. In my opinion, purely in terms of performance, it is still above its zenith. But who knows, there might still be something going on this season,” he explained.

The next race of the season takes us to France. Can the 33-year-old prove his doubters wrong and achieve another great result at Paul Ricard? We are a week away from race day to find out. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

631 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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