Bernie Ecclestone believes Sebastian Vettel’s title chances were “weakened” by a lack of support from the Ferrari team.
Although Vettel started this year as the favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship, his charged faltered mid-season.
Mistakes from the German as well as Ferrari cost him dearly and handed momentum to title rival Lewis Hamilton.
The Brit went on a four-race winning streak starting in Italy, where Ferrari did not use team orders to favour Vettel, and ending in Japan, where Ferrari got it wrong in qualifying.
With the points firmly in his favour, Hamilton wrapped up his fifth World title in Mexico, doing so with two races to spare.
“Lewis Hamilton is a deserved 2018 F1 champion and Vettel an undeserved second in the championship,” Ecclestone told Auto Bild.
“Lewis was outstanding this year but he also had the full support of the team. You can’t say that for Sebastian.
“After [Sergio] Marchionne’s death, a strong hand was missing and there was more chaos than structure.
“From the outside, you had the impression that Ferrari did more for Kimi than for Sebastian.
“Sebastian is a victim not the culprit.
“If Vettel had the same support like Lewis, Vettel would have also become champion this year.
“A team needs to strengthen their star driver not weaken him.”