There’s certainly no shortage of opinion on the Ferrari pre-race agreement, Sebastian Vettel’s strategy and ultimately the team’s radio messages. I’ve read a lot of them and many of them negative toward Vettel unfortunately.
As much as I love Charles Leclerc—and as a Ferrari fan, you have to be excited about this young man and the future of the team—I am also reticent to hop on the bandwagon of shaming Sebastian or blabbing that his career is over.
I know how Paul di Resta felt about it during the Sky Broadcast and I agreed with him. I also found these two quotes interesting, however.
Red Bull boss Helmet Marko:
‘Ferrari managed not to win despite having the fastest cars. And although he was the faster man, they sacrificed Sebastian. He has no future at Ferrari anymore.’
and this quote from veteran Jacques Villeneuve:
‘Vettel set his car up for the race and was much faster. Now Ferrari have a serious problem.
‘They didn’t have to tell Vettel to return the place like that. They then spent the rest of the race thinking how to put Leclerc back in front. Karma punished them in the end. Vettel was faster and deserved to stay ahead.’
He’s right, the last couple of races that Sebastian has out-thought the other side of the garage and set his car up for the long run and not qualifying. I wonder if it’s Seb vs. Ferrari/Leclerc or is it just a seasoned veteran doing what is right and what has to be learned by Charles?
I did ponder the concept of if the same thing were happening at Mercedes. If Valtteri Bottas ignored orders and did his thing like Charles did in Monza. We saw what happened with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton when Nico decided he was going to be the lead driver. It was war.
I don’t recall quite the same reaction when Lewis fought back hard against Nico. Conversely, would Mercedes remove Hamilton from the lead to place him behind Bottas as his tail gunner? No way.
What if Lewis was allowed to get a tow off Bottas and refused to cede the position? Would he be called a “bully”? Would the team leave Lewis out too long to orchestrate a correction and place him behind Bottas to support the Finn? I doubt it.
Keep in mind, Sebastian is rumored to be paid $37 million for his services and that’s a heck of a way to treat the guy you pay that much for. Sure, you have to keep Charles happy because he may be your future but that’s quite a move and one I doubt Seb will forget.
I am all for Charles trying to knock Sebastian’s feet off the desk but I suspect the team could have made a more programmed transition over time.
Maybe Helmet Marko is right? What do you think?
Hat Tip: Mail Online