Should Vettel Have Taken a Year Off? Former F1 Driver Sides With Helmut Marko

Published 04/24/2021, 4:23 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Sebastian Vettel began a new chapter with Aston Martin in 2021, having left Ferrari after a horrible season. Many believe, such as former F1 driver, Gerhard Berger, that the four-time world champion should have taken a year off and come back stronger.

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In his debut race for the Silverstone-based outfit, Vettel had to serve a grid penalty and start from last place. Later, he was awarded a 10-second time penalty for colliding with Alpine’s Ocon. The German came home 15th at the Bahrain GP and couldn’t score any points.

Imola was Vettel‘s chance at redemption and show the world that he still has what it takes. However, the German had brake issues before the lights went out, and on top of that, he had gearbox issues that saw him retire from the race.

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Berger advice Sebastian Vettel that he should have taken a year’s hiatus

As quoted by Speedweek.com, Berger stated, “Wouldn’t it have been better to take a year off? From today’s perspective, Yes!”. But the observation period is still too short. I wouldn’t want to draw conclusions after two races.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Upon being asked if Vettel could still win races, Berger replied, “From my own experience, I know: the time will come when you have passed your zenith. You have to take this development into account. If you are a successful racing driver and continue to pursue the sport with all your experience and passion, that can still lead to good success. “

Vettel’s former boss, Helmut Marko, also feels that he should have taken the year off

The German worked with Marko during their days at Red Bull. The duo were very successful, having won the drivers’ championship four times. Now in their on their own ways, Marko feels his ex-driver should have not been on the grid for 2021.

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As quoted by Formel1, the Red Bull advisor said, “I was of the opinion […] he should take a year off, sort things out, ask himself what he wants. I believe that a lot is possible within Formula 1 next year.” (Translated via Google Translate)

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing talks with Dr Helmut Marko as he prepares to drive during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“He didn’t do it. Now he is sitting in the Aston Martin, which of course suffers, similar to the Mercedes. They are very similar cars. And this race was by far not what could have brought a break, Marko explained.

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The four-time champion hasn’t scored his first points since starting his new chapter. Hence, he will be looking forward to the Portugal GP at the end of this month, hoping to bring home some points for the Silverstone-based squad. Do you think Vettel will bounce back in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

847 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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