Giancarlo Mandini (right) advises Sebastian Vettel to retire from Formula 1.Image: photo alliance (collage: watson)
While world champion Max Verstappen was annoyed after his start in Melbourne that Charles Leclerc was able to further extend his world championship lead with a sure start and finish victory, Sebastian Vettel had completely different concerns: After a trip in the gravel bed, he had to leave the field eleven attack from behind. After a pilot error on the 24th lap, it was finally over for him last weekend.
Ralf Schumacher ‘feels almost sorry’ for Vettel
Preparation for the Australian Grand Prix had already gone badly for Vettel: During Friday’s free practice, he had to leave his smoking car on the side of the track and was later fined for bringing a scooter back to the pits. In qualifying on Saturday, it was only enough for 17th place. Then last Sunday the elimination without point.
So Vettel – who missed the first two races of the season due to a corona infection – still has no points in the world championship standings. Asked about the situation of the four-time world champion, ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky: “It’s so serious now that you almost feel sorry.”
Instead of a title fight: Aston Martin last in the constructors’ championship
Vettel’s lack of success is by no means a snapshot. After four world championship titles with the Red Bull team, Vettel was able to stay at the top of the standings in a Ferrari until 2018. Since then, the German has had nothing to report in the title race. He hasn’t won a race since 2019.
Sebastian Vettel (centre) during his last Grand Prix victory in Singapore in 2019. Behind him: Verstappen (right) and Leclerc, who are currently battling for the championship lead. (file photo)Image: Laci Perenyi / Laci Perenyi
And that, even though Aston Martin originally wanted to attack with him. Instead, the Brits are bottom of the constructors’ championship and Vettel just doesn’t seem to be warming up to the new car.
In an interview with the Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”, Giancarlo Minardi – at the time founder and owner of the racing team of the same name – also looked into the fate of the German.
“He had the misfortune to miss the first two Grands Prix with Covid and retire in the third.” Minardi’s expert advice: “He should retire. He has a lot of money, he has won a lot of titles and he won’t win anymore.”
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