The guard seems to be changing at Scuderia Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc taking over from Sebastian Vettel. However, it begs the question, where has that Sebastian Vettel mojo gone? According to former Ferrari driver, Gerhard Berger, the 4-time world champion is losing his ‘killer instinct’.
The Austrian has been debating if Sebastian Vettel is still the numero uno, or whether he has passed the baton to Charles Leclerc. Evidence supporting this, stems from qualifying in Monza, where Leclerc denied his teammate the benefit of slipstream. However, Vettel gave LeClerc the slipstream during the initial run.
“I say it very clearly: there is no team play at this level in Formula 1,” declared Berger to Kolner Express.
“I don’t know if he fooled Vettel, but it’s been clear for a long time that Leclerc has an absolute killer instinct. Vettel can never rely on him.”
Berger confessed that Sebastian Vettel was not naive to expect LeClerc to help him like he did to the Monegasque driver. Instead, the German was leaning too much in the direction of good faith.
The 60-year old former driver surmised that Sebastian Vettel simply lost his own ‘killer instinct’ after winning four world championships.
“It’s quite simple,” Berger said. “If you lose your instincts, then you no longer have the claim to become world champion. Then you have to get them back again.”
“I don’t think that matters,” Berger said of LeClerc’s political influence. “If Vettel spins or Leclerc does not stick to the agreement on slipstreaming, neither the FIA president or a manager can take care of that.”
However, Berger did notice the FIA stewards’ reluctance to penalise Leclerc for his robust defence against Lewis Hamilton at Monza.
“The goodwill issue for Ferrari at Monza cannot be overlooked. I agree,” he said. “Some gentlemen probably closed their eyes.”