Recently, former F1 driver and Grand Prix Drivers’ Association president Alex Wurz opened up on the Scuderia Ferrari situation. Clearly, he is not too happy with the way the Italian giants operate and believes that they ‘burn out’ their drivers.
He cited the example of Sebastian Vettel and insists that the German’s departure is another sign of a driver getting fed up. Earlier this month, the four-time World Champion announced his departure from Ferrari at the end of 2020.
Back in 2015, Sebastian Vettel left Red Bull to join Ferrari in hopes of adding to his World-Championship tally. However, Wurz believes that Ferrari drivers tend to burn out under the strain of the marquee’s hopes.
“Sebastian is a friend of mine, but I didn’t see it coming,” Wurz told Sky F1. “He keeps those cards always very close to his chest. If you look at the history of Ferrari, you have this first few years and months of big love and all these radio calls, all the emotions that come out of it, which makes Ferrari so beautiful.”
Sebastian Vettel is not the only victim of Ferrari
Wurz even named Fernando Alonso as another victim of the burnout, so the fault lies in the Ferrari system. He suspected that the passion is ebbing away, but he has not talked to Sebastian Vettel yet.
“There’s more to it than just racing passion. “There is really the national pressure up on you and the drivers go through that,” he explained. “Ferrari are really demanding of the drivers, they really love you if you push them forward but if the success is not coming then suddenly that starts to backfire and they will also be protective about their heritage, work and quality.”
According to the Austrian, the Maranello outfit has always faced friction, both for the drivers and even the management. One piece of evidence is that fact that they have changed team principals a few times over the years.
He concluded, “We look back at the (Michael) Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt era, that group went in there and was so strong, could succeed, and could push that Italian pressure, whatever you want to call it, to the side. Since they left, Ferrari is behind its own expectations.”