Unity the difference between Schumacher and Vettel

Mark Scott

Sebastian Vettel expects the grid to close up for second Austria race.

FIA president Jean Todt thinks the main difference between Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari was down to the strength of unity.

Ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone touched upon this subject in the aftermath of the announcement that Vettel and Ferrari will be going their separate ways at the end of year.

He told F1-Insider.com: “It was never the same magic between him and Ferrari as between Michael Schumacher and the Italians.

“The team and its team bosses never stood behind Vettel as much as they did for Schumacher.”

And now ex-Ferrari chief Todt also thinks there was something of disconnect between Vettel and Ferrari, especially compared to his first-hand experience of working with Schumacher.

“The result, good or bad, you can always explain it,” Todt told Sky Sports F1.

“Together with Michael, the whole team at Ferrari, we had so much success because we had a very united, strong team, who were supportive to each other, mainly in the difficult times than in the good times.

“It’s easy to be together when all is good, but you see a good sailor in a rough sea.

“When we were in a rough sea, we were all on the boat, and I think that’s what made the difference.”

Todt, though, did have plenty of praise for Vettel, saying any Formula 1 team would be lucky to have him.

“Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest talents in motorsport,” Todt added.

“An announcement has been done, but he will not drive for his actual team beyond 2020. There are a lot of other opportunities.

“We can only wish him the best, and I really feel that whoever will take him, will be very lucky.

“He is clearly one of the drivers that with a proper car, he can win championships.

“When Michael arrived in ’96, he only managed to win three races – not because he was not motivated, he simply did not have the car to allow him to be world champion.

“Slowly, we built the car and built the team which made it possible, so it’s a combination. You take Lewis Hamilton – if he would not be able to drive a winning car, he could not be world champion.

“You saw that with [Fernando] Alonso, you saw that with Vettel. It’s logic.”

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