Sebastian Vettel is feeling the pressure this season and that’s why he keeps making mistakes. That is the opinion of former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi, who says Vettel and his old team need to rediscover their “tranquility”.
However, his victory at August’s Belgian Grand Prix has been followed by disappointing results in Italy, Singapore, Russia and Japan respectively.
Vettel’s failure to secure maximum points in any of those races has been down to errors from himself and Ferrari as a team.
Mercedes man Hamilton has extended his lead at the top of the F1 standings to a whopping 67 points in the meantime.
And Alesi, who spent five seasons with Ferrari in the 1990s, has now offered his take on the Prancing Horse’s problems.
“In the last races we were a bit surprised and angry about what happened,” Alesi told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“But Vettel’s mistakes do not happen because he’s bad, but because under certain circumstances it’s very easy to make the wrong choice.
“At this time he and the team need to rediscover a bit of their lost tranquility.”
Alesi’s comments echo the sentiments of Adrian Newey, with whom Vettel won four titles at Red Bull.
“First I have to admit: Sebastian is a friend of mine,” Newey said. “We get along very well.
“He works incredibly hard, sometimes too dogged. Hardly anyone is more self-critical than he is.
“If he has a weakness, it’s that he can make stupid mistakes in the heat of the moment.
“If he leads, he is almost unbeatable. But in direct duels he sometimes slips off.
“In sports, but also in life, there are people who deal differently with pressure. For a racer this can be particularly difficult.
“In the car, he is not only responsible for himself, but has the entire team in the garage on his shoulders. Some drivers do not care.
“Take the Finns, Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen. But there are others who really feel the pressure weigh on them at the end of a world championship.
“The harder a driver works, the more he feels the pressure. That’s particularly true of Seb.”
Vettel will be desperate to get another win on the board when he gets back in the driving seat for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.
The omens are good for Lewis Hamilton though, who’s won six races at Texas’ Circuit of the Americas during his career.