In Brief

F1: Sebastian Vettel should leave Ferrari, says Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko

German’s Formula 1 future is once again in the spotlight but Lewis Hamilton backs his rival to recover

If Sebastian Vettel is to get his Formula 1 career back on track then he should consider leaving Ferrari.

That’s the opinion of Dr Helmut Marko, the driver manager at Vettel’s former team Red Bull Racing. 

Vettel won four world titles with Red Bull but has failed to secure a championship since moving to Ferrari in 2015. 

This season he is fourth in the drivers’ standings and last weekend at Silverstone he finished 16th after ramming into the back of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.   

Speaking after the British Grand Prix Verstappen said of Vettel: “At Red Bull, he hardly made any mistakes. You do not forget how to drive. 

“So why does this stuff keep happening to him over and over again at Ferrari?”

Different environment

GrandPX reports that Vettel has lost the support of the Italian media, with team-mate Charles Leclerc, 21, challenging to be Ferrari’s No.1 driver.

Despite having a contract with Ferrari for 2020, there has been speculation that 32-year-old Vettel could retire from Formula 1 or even return to Red Bull. 

When asked about Vettel’s future, Marko told Auto Bild: “You make mistakes when you are no longer yourself. It happens in your subconscious mind. 

“Sebastian should actually be in a different environment. In other words: with a different team. I don’t see any possibility for that before 2020.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and his F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari

Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Hamilton: Vettel will recover

In recent seasons Vettel has been the biggest challenger to Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton. 

RaceFans.net reports that five-team world champion Hamilton has backed his rival to challenge once again.  

British driver Hamilton said after the British GP: “I absolutely believe he will rebound. You look at the greats playing tennis and he is one of those. 

“He’s had a difficult race but he’s a four time world champion. He will recover, he will redeem himself if he feels he needs to and he will come back stronger in the next race. That’s what great athletes do.”

‘Vettel is overrated’

Former Ferrari engineer Luca Baldisserri has launched a scathing attack on Vettel and says the German should be No.2 to team-mate Leclerc. 

Speaking on the Italian podcast Pit-Talk, Baldisserri said: “I think Vettel is an overrated driver and not [Michael] Schumacher’s heir, he has made so many mistakes and must rediscover himself.

“But he is still a driver who has won four titles. If Leclerc keeps maturing and becomes the top driver, he will still need a team-mate who can support and help him. 

“I believe from that point of view that Vettel has the experience to be a high level team-mate.”

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