There are myriad ways of examining or understanding a certain Sebastian Vettel. Some can be enamored by his four world titles. Others can contend with the fact that Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver on the grid after Lewis Hamilton.
But perhaps to the purist who’s quite honestly had enough of Hamilton making winning a constant habit, Vettel is the guy who failed to do it. And this is no ordinary failure. It’s, lest it is forgotten, the failure to stop Lewis since 2015.
After all, it was at the end of the tumultuous 2014 season featuring the ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ pairing of Alonso and Raikkonen that the German was roped in. The idea was simple and the stakes were high.
Formula 1 was entering a new era. The task on Kimi and Vettel’s desk was to go ahead and revive Ferrari. It wasn’t the world’s biggest mystery to note who the top driver at the Scuderia was.
Not the man from Espoo, Finland; albeit the one who only recently set the fastest-ever lap in the sport. It was the man who, from the onset of 2010 to 2013 made winning a ritual. In fact, on occasions where the smiling German iconized by the crooked finger didn’t win, it did seem a bit strange after all.
Did it not?
And yet, here we are.
In the past half a decade only one team has gone on to change the very dimension of the sport. The way the Hamilton and Mercedes alliance has led the proceedings, it often seems that it’s Mercedes 1 instead of it being F1; a uni-dimensional tangent of not an awful lot is reserved for the likes of Ferrari in different Grands Prix battles.
Yet, there’s a statistic that may not please the Ferrari fan; a breed that unfailingly stands by in the hope for witnessing a red-letter day.
Rather, this could be understood through a question.
Do you recall when did Sebastian Vettel win a Grand Prix?
Well, here’s what you ought to know. If you are a Mercedes fan and someone habitual of the golden rule of the sport- that the Silver Arrows are here to win then it would mightily please you. But if you are a fan of Ferrari, then it just won’t.
The last that Sebastian Vettel won a Formula 1 contest was 9 races ago. Back in 2018, in the heart of the Ardennes at the Belgian Grand Prix, the German was the King of Spa. In fact, so easy seemed Sebastian Vettel’s win at Spa-Francorchamps, that he made it less of a duel and more of a one-sided Ferrari triumph.
But where are the wins now, Seb?
The rules of this complicated sport are at the end of the day, quite simple. Greatness belongs to the one who persists. Calmness, as much as speed and grit, determine the order of the day.
To that end, Sebastian Vettel, a man who spun at Monza, Suzuka, didn’t exactly get off smoothly at COTA (Circuit Of The Americas) at Texas and basically made spinning a habit couldn’t keep his cool.
While at all these times, in 2018, Hamilton was all composure.
In this new season, however, as Bottas is trying his best to stoke some fire into what’s been a common narrative- Lewis Hamilton versus Sebastian Vettel- Ferrari need to hit back.
After all, as Vettel himself put it succinctly in 2016, “everybody is a Ferrari fan,” perhaps its time for a change.
Perhaps it’s about time Sebastian Vettel stood at the top of the podium just when it seems Ferrari seem stunned.
How else are you to define their predicament given a sheer lack of pace? It wasn’t the best feeling in the world to have been passed by Max, right Seb?
But the above told, Sebastian Vettel would know a thing.
Perhaps the best time to bounce back to form is now.
Do you remember who the winner of the 2018 race at Bahrain was?
Do you remember who won the contest at Sakhir in 2017?
Maybe, Sebastian Vettel himself would love to answer the question. And maybe, if he can, he’d like to demonstrate it too in a few days’ time.