Ex-F1 racer Ralf Schumacher worries that mistakes like in Bahrain will harm Sebastian Vettel’s settling-in stage at Aston Martin.
The four-time former World Champion had a very tricky opening race weekend for the returning Aston Martin brand in Bahrain.
Firstly he was eliminated in Q1 and later sent to the back of the grid for failing to slow down under double waved yellow flags.
Then on race day, he shunted Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with his accusation that the Frenchman changed line into the first corner drawing further criticism as replays clearly showed Vettel was at fault. He left the event with five penalty points added to his super-licence.
Schumacher has not been shy in his criticism of Vettel, stating previously the “whining” from his compatriot must stop, and now has added that errors like those in Bahrain will not help Vettel’s cause for acceptance within his new team.
“I think Sebastian apologised afterwards and that must be it, he had a misjudgement there,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.
“It’s happened to Sebastian a few times now that he was a bit tight on the gap. I hope he finds a solution for himself. Because if something like that comes on top of such a disastrous weekend, it doesn’t really help him, not even with the acceptance in the team.
“Accordingly, it will be even harder for him now at Imola. He has to be in front. He should also be faster than his team-mate [Lance Stroll] but must not make any mistakes either. It won’t be that easy for Sebastian.”
But neither Aston Martin driver is expected to trouble those at the front of the pack at Imola, expected to be Red Bull and Mercedes again. Schumacher, though, is giving the edge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
“Imola is supposed to be a Red Bull track. Verstappen was really fast there last year, he only had a technical problem otherwise you would have seen a Red Bull in front,” he explained.
“So I see Red Bull again slightly in front. But Mercedes have not slept [in terms of developing the car]. Bottas was also extremely strong in the race. This will certainly be exciting between the two [Red Bull and Mercedes].”