Former F1 Driver Explains Why Binotto’s Dig at Sebastian Vettel is ‘Unfair’

Published 04/02/2021, 7:50 AM EDT
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive in the garage before the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel can’t seem to catch a break. After the German’s horrendous season at Ferrari last year, fans expected him to turn it around with Aston Martin. However, he had a nightmare race weekend in Bahrain while his former team had a morale-boosting outing.


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This prompted Ferrari’s Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, to take a veiled dig at his former driver. He said that he now finally had two drivers whom he could count on this season.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 26: Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari talk in a press conference during Day One of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

However, former F1 driver and current Sky Sports Germany Analyst, Marc Surer, thinks this is not accurate. Marc believes the SF1000’s problems meant that Vettel struggled to maneuver it. On the other hand, this season’s Ferrari car, the SF21, is much more driver-friendly.


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“Last year the Ferrari was really very, very difficult to drive. Leclerc sometimes turned around during training. Leclerc coped better with it than Vettel,” said Surer.

“Now is the car is much more good-natured, as you can see, more consistent. That’s why the comparison is unfair.”

SPA, BELGIUM – Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari stand for a minutes silence in tribute to the late Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert on the Formula 3 grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Surer defends Sebastian Vettel from conspiracy theorists

The German’s critics had a field day after his less-than-ideal outing in Bahrain. Binotto wasn’t the only one who disrespected his racing skills. The driver he replaced at Red Bull, David Coulthard, also had a unique opinion to share before the race on Sunday.

He, along with Vettel’s former teammate, Mark Webber, believed that Lawrence Stroll might have hired Vettel to make his son, Lance Stroll, look like a championship-caliber racer.

Beating a 4-time title winner like Vettel would surely enhance Lance’s credibility in the racing world. Much like it did for Charles Leclerc. However, as far as Surer is concerned, that is simply not the case.

“Vettel is much too expensive for such an action,” said the 82-time F1 Grand Prix participant.


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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

“Vettel is someone who can advance a car. He proved that at Red Bull when he helped build the team and made the car the winning car. He knows how I think that’s what Aston Martin builds on – and not that Stroll looks good.”

We do hope that the reason for Vettel’s hiring is purely for sporting terms. And even if it isn’t, we are crossing our fingers that the German silences his detractors.


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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.