One big question that has been asked since last year is, ‘What has happened to Sebastian Vettel?’. The German driver imploded last year from the halfway point onwards and now its deja vu.
Unfortunately, this time, he does not have a driver like Kimi Raikkonen, who will simply settle for the number 2 slot, no questions asked. The veteran Finn has been replaced by Charles LeClerc, who is young and hungry. So, if Vettel screws up, LeClerc will be right there to punish him and hit him where it really hurts.
On that note, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Sebastian Vettel can no longer trust Leclerc to have his back.
“I think Monza made sure the penny dropped,” Villeneuve admitted to Auto Bild. “That he realises he cannot trust Leclerc. In fact, he knows that he is his first direct opponent.
“He has to get out of this vicious circle and he needs to put himself first.”
Out of the Big 3 F1 teams, barring newcomer Alex Albon, Sebastian Vettel is the only driver without a win in 2019. His season has gone from worse to abysmal, and his numerous unforced errors are not helping.Meanwhile, his team-mate has shown that he is ready to be the new Ferrari number 1. Although Villeneuve has the impression that the four-time world champion is still well supported, he needs to feel the love from the fans in order to reignite the fire.
“Other drivers have already made mistakes,” the 1997 world champion continued. “It is now up to us to support Sebastian and ensure that he finds his form. It is important that he feels that we and the Tifosi stand behind him and trust him. After all, that is also what we do.
“He is a four-time world champion, let’s not forget that either. The criticism he now receives is exaggerated and unfair: You can make mistakes when you are under pressure. He is and remains a human and not a robot. I would certainly not write off Sebastian.”