(Motorsport-Total.com) – Three weeks before the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season, it is still unclear whether Sebastian Vettel will continue his career in 2021. Bernie Ecclestone now advises the German Ferrari driver at least to take a break: “He should take a year off in 2021 and then position himself in time for 2022.”
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“Dreaming of Mercedes is of no use,” Ecclestone told F1-Insider.com. “There Toto Wolff has the power. But why should Toto do a vettel where he has the superstar of the scene with Lewis Hamilton? And where there are two drivers in the front row with Bottas and Russell, whom Toto has been promoting for a long time.”
While Mercedes team boss Wolff initially left the door to Vettel very diplomatic, Valtteri Bottas recently chatted out of the box that the team had assured him internally that Vettel was not an issue. Mercedes is now closed for the four-time World Champion. Ferrari anyway. And Red Bull has already canceled it.
That leaves a possible Aston Martin factory team with Wolff in a leadership position or a (also very unlikely) change to Renault as an alternative. But as much as fans love to speculate about such wild mind games, industry experts swear that Vettel would rather take a break than do a sporting relegation.
Tost: When Vettel delivers, doors open
Franz Tost celebrated his first Grand Prix victory in 2008 in Monza as team manager at Toro Rosso together with Vettel. The Austrian is therefore keeping his fingers crossed for his ex-driver: “I personally hope that there will be a place for him in a really competitive team,” Tost told Sky.
“Sebastian is not yet that old and is one of the fastest drivers in Formula 1 for me. It certainly depends a lot on how he will do in the next races. I think he is highly motivated and I expect him to do so really great performance. Then doors will open. “
In the same show (‘Warm Up’ with Sascha Roos and Peter Hardenacke) Max Verstappen also admits that he actually expected Vettel “to stay with Ferrari for another year or two”. The 22-year-old assures Christian Horner and Helmut Marko that the option that Vettel could become his teammate at Red Bull was “not spoken to”.
“I think he will take a year off,” Vettel’s former team-mate Mark Webber suspects in the podcast ‘F1 Nation’. He believes that Vettel no longer has the last bite: “For me, it got harder with age. In your late 30s, it just took a bit longer in some positions and scenarios to find the last tenth of a second.”
“When you start looking at the clock in the meeting, the motivation starts to suffer. Then you can no longer ask people around you to go the extra mile for you. When you are hungry, motivated and disciplined , then the whole team pulls together. If you are only 9.5 / 10, you can no longer demand that from the employees. “
What differentiates Vettel from Schumacher
The difference between Michael Schumacher and Vettel, Webber believes, is that Schumacher brought with Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne his most important confidants from Benetton. He does not want to condemn the Italians now operating at Ferrari, “but I can only say: as a whole, they have not yet achieved what is expected of them.”
Photo gallery: Heidfeld’s teammates: “Natural talent” Räikkönen, Vettel underestimated
Kimi Raikkonen (Sauber, 2001): “They call him ‘Iceman’. But he really wanted to be world champion and trained hard. Some of what people say about him is true. Other things are not true. You won’t become world champion if you’re a lazy sack and don’t care about anything. If he was beaten, he didn’t like it. “
“This regime did what it could, but in the end Seb ran out of breath,” says Webber. “And then comes Charles, an incredibly fast guy, full of energy, hunger and naivety. Naivety is a wonderful thing, because you come here and give everything because you don’t know anything else. Sebastian, on the other hand, had been there for a long time and had worked hard. “
“He has had challenging times at Ferrari, no question about it. But I think they will miss him. I think they will miss his experience. Leclerc is absolutely world class. But in the short term they will lack Seb’s experience,” Webber suspects and means the further development of the car.
Vettel 2020 still has a chance to fulfill his childhood dream of winning the World Cup title on Ferrari, just like the great role model Michael Schumacher. But during the winter tests in Barcelona, the new SF1000 was not the most dangerous weapon, but rather only the third force behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
“I don’t see Ferrari as a favorite,” said Ecclestone to ‘F1-Insider.com’, “but Mercedes and Red Bull. And even if they were on an equal footing: why should Ferrari be interested in the fact that the one who goes wins – and not your own pupil that you can still market for years? That doesn’t make any sense. “