‘Vettel will flourish away from blame culture’

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Otmar Szafnauer is confident Sebastian Vettel will “flourish” at Racing Point, a team that doesn’t “blame anyone for making a mistake”.

Vettel is saying farewell to Ferrari this season but it has been anything but a happy goodbye.

The German has scored just 17 points in 11 grands prix, languishing down in 13th place in the Drivers’ Championship.

But it is not just on the track where the disappointment lies.

Vettel has made it clear that he didn’t want to leave Ferrari, the team deciding not to continue with him into the 2021 season.

Revealing bits and pieces about life with Ferrari, the 33-year-old recently spoke of “fights” he shouldn’t have picked.

“Maybe, looking back, they [the fights] weren’t worth fighting if you see what I mean,” he said ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix weekend.

“But probably part of it was my nature, something I felt was natural to do so, and I think I had a point as well in some of these little fights and battles.

“But ultimately that is how you mature and how you learn. Again, the important bit is I don’t have the sense of regret. I am happy to move on.

“I don’t regret the last years and I have learned a lot in my time with Ferrari.

“A different team, a different culture, got to make a lot of friends along the way. Certainly Ferrari is a special team in many ways.”

It is, however, a very different team to his next one, Racing Point.

The team, which will run under the Aston Martin branding next season, is not only a lot smaller than Ferrari but team boss Szafnauer says it has a different culture.

A culture under which Vettel will thrive.

“In our team, we all pull in the same direction and have a good working atmosphere – a culture in which we don’t blame anyone for making a mistake,” he told Sport1.

“Seb will like that and I’m sure he will flourish.”

Sebastian Vettel

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The team boss is confident that Vettel, despite seeming to make more than his fair share of mistakes out on track on these days, has lost none of the ability that carried him to four World titles.

“I do not believe that a 33-year-old driver forgets how to drive a Formula 1 car overnight,” he said. “It has to be something else.

“We will help him to regain the qualities that made him a champion.

“In turn, he will give us the direction in which we have to develop the team and the car. What does a top team like Ferrari and Red Bull do differently to us?

“That will help us to take the next step.”

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