Former F1 Driver Believes Sebastian Vettel will Face Difficult Challenge From McLaren in 2021

Published 12/17/2020, 3:09 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium after finishing in third place in the race Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


Sebastian Vettel had a slower car throughout the 2020 season, which restricted him from finishing in the top-10 on most occasions. However, it does not mean that the German will certainly find form following his switch to the Mercedes-powered Aston Martin next season.

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Furthermore, former F1 driver, Gerhard Berger, feels that 2021 might be a tough year for Vettel, considering the mid-field battle is much more neck and neck.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel arrives ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Looking into 2021, Berger opined that McLaren might pose a bigger threat to Aston Martin. Hence, consistent top-6 finishes might just be out of reach for Vettel despite the fact that he will be driving a copy of this year’s championship-winning Mercedes W11.

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They have the Mercedes engine. The car is currently a copy of a Mercedes. But we’ll also see a strong McLaren in 2021,” Berger said. “So it won’t be easy for Sebastian. But to be up front in one or the other race. That should be possible,” he added.

The interesting aspect of the mid-field battle is the number of competitors fighting for the ‘best of the rest’ tag. In the 2020 season, the battle was extremely tight between third-placed McLaren to seventh-placed AlphaTauri, with all teams involved crossing the three-figure mark in points.

Sebastian Vettel has nothing to prove, feels Berger

The former Austrian racer, Berger, opined that Vettel has already proved his worth in Formula 1 by securing four world championship titles, irrespective of how he got it.

Sebastian Vettel was four times world champion. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone,” he said. (all quotes are translated to English via Google Translate).

The German always struggled for grip in Ferrari throughout the last two seasons. Hence, Aston Martin might be the perfect fit for Vettel’s driving style.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the garage before practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Racing Point’s car, at the moment, has an abundant grip, even on damp and wet tracks. Hence, Vettel will have the freedom of pushing the car to the limit.

Another factor is that Aston Martin can claim components from Mercedes without using their tokens. This means that the team will grow stronger, portraying partial characteristics of Mercedes’ W11.

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Overall, Vettel is definitely moving to a team that has made a significant step forward since the start of 2020, and are looking to take much bigger steps going into 2021.

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Rohit Kumar

741 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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