‘In Ferrari It Was the Same Thing’ – Ex-F1 Driver Highlights Sebastian Vettel’s Weakness at Aston Martin

Published 03/31/2021, 5:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel before practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Sebastian Vettel didn’t expect his debut race for Aston Martin to go the way his 2020 season with Ferrari did. Vettel endured a difficult first race weekend at Bahrain and getting penalized by the stewards twice over the course of the weekend wouldn’t have made for happy reading. He has put himself under pressure from the off and that doesn’t bode well for him, if one goes by former F1 driver Gerhard Berger’s comments.

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The German struggled to come to terms with the AMR21 throughout the race weekend. Vettel failed to qualify out of Q1 and as a result, was penciled in to start in P18. But, before the race got underway, he was handed a penalty which saw him start at the back of the grid.

He proceeded to have an unremarkable race and then collided into the rear of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine, which gave him another penalty and led to him finishing 15th out of 16 classified cars.

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Sebastian Vettel not thriving when put under pressure according to Berger

In an interview, Gerhard Berger spoke about how Vettel despite being a great driver, doesn’t thrive when under pressure from a teammate.

He said, Sebastian is a four-time world champion so he’s one of the outstanding drivers, no question. But he never reacted well under pressure. Remember when Daniel [Ricciardo] came to Red Bull [he] was very strong and he put pressure on Sebastian. For Sebastian it was difficult to cope with it.

“In Ferrari it was the same thing.”

Berger thinks that Vettel is not relaxed and that is affecting his driving. He said, “I just feel when you watch him, you feel he’s not free. He’s not relaxed enough. He’s trying to prove things that, at this moment, aren’t possible because the car isn’t good enough or his own form isn’t good enough.

“When you’re in this situation you need to sit down. Take a step back and say ‘well, take it easy and the success is going to come again’.

The Austrian thinks this is natural when one comes to the end of one’s career.

“In saying that he’s at the end of his career too. When you’ve done so many races, when you’re already a four-time world champion, then comes a point when maybe you’re not in a situation where you want to take all the risks, where you fight like you would fight before you won any races.”

Can the German deal with the pressure of being Lance Stroll’s teammate?

Unfortunately, Sebastian Vettel has joined a situation where he has to perform constantly. His teammate Lance Stroll showed that this car is, in fact, drivable and can score points consistently. Stroll put in a very mature performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing in 10th place, and also taking a point for the team.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

One more dynamic which needs to be considered is that Stroll’s father owns the team. This virtually guarantees Stroll a seat for the foreseeable future.

So, all the onus has to be on Vettel to perform and do so quickly while at it. Because, if he’s not outperforming the Canadian immediately, he should look for another team or a future away from F1. That would be a great shame for one of the great drivers of F1.

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More – WATCH: Sebastian Vettel Rams Esteban Ocon in Nightmare F1 Debut for Aston Martin

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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