Former World Champion Damon Hill hopes Sebastian Vettel can find self-confidence again at Aston Martin, but has his concerns.
Vettel secured his status as one of Formula 1’s elite talents when he secured four Drivers’ World Championships in a row from 2010-13 at Red Bull and for the start of the 2015 season he moved on to his next challenge with Ferrari.
There were many highs at the Scuderia with Vettel becoming the third most successful driver in their history, but also some lows and the German racer hit rock bottom come his final season with Ferrari.
After being told he would not get a new deal for 2021 before the 2020 season had even begun, Vettel looked a shadow of his former self throughout the campaign, ultimately finishing P13 in the Drivers’ Championship.
“I think Vettel was destabilised at Ferrari. I think there were political aspects that undermined his confidence and that ended up affecting his driving,” Hill told Sky Sports F1.
“He missed opportunities, it’s true, but there were also great performances. I think Sebastian can still say a lot and if he sees a chance to be competitive for the win or the podium, he will give his best.”
Vettel was, though, presented with a fresh start when Aston Martin snapped him up for their Formula 1 return.
Alongside Lance Stroll, the German will be tasked with taking the team towards the upper reaches of the grid. Aston Martin want to be competing for the World Championship within the next five years.
But in order to do that, first Vettel must have self-confidence and be motivated to establish the iconic Aston Martin brand in Formula 1 and Hill has concerns over both of those traits.
“I hope he has had a chance to regain his self-confidence,” Hill continued.
“Sometimes I look at him and I think he doesn’t look motivated and confident, and that’s a bit worrying.”
Pre-season testing in Bahrain was frustrating for Vettel who completed the lowest number of laps of anyone on the 2021 grid due to multiple reliability issues.
So with Formula 1 now gearing up for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Vettel has no choice but to learn on the job with his new team.