‘Vettel will be a bit persona non grata’

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

On his way out of Ferrari, Martin Brundle says Sebastian Vettel will be a “bit persona non grata” in the garage but will “fly” out on track.

This year’s championship, which begins this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix, will be Vettel’s last with Ferrari.

After five years without a World title, the German announced earlier this year that he and Ferrari no longer have a “common desire” to work together.

As such 2020 will be Vettel’s last with Ferrari.

Brundle reckons the four-time World Champion will likely feel “slightly uncomfortable” in the garage as Ferrari tries to keep its secrets from the German.

Brundle told Motorsport.com: “You walk into the garage, and you’re a bit persona non grata, because they don’t want you to know anything for the following year if you go to another team.

“It’s just little things. People look down, people look away. You’re on an exit route.

“You just don’t get that when you first join the team. You turn up at the factory, it is exciting and everybody’s pleased to see you. You have the seat fit, and it’s all about potential, it’s all about the future.

“When you’re on an exit route, then it’s just slightly uncomfortable. And you’ve got to wade through that. I think the fact that the races are coming thick and fast will help in that respect.”

But while it will be uncomfortable in the garage, it could be even more so out on track.

Knowing that he is on his way out, Vettel has nothing to lose in his battle with Leclerc and will be “driving for himself”.

And a great season could see him decide to remain in Formula 1 next year, maybe even with Renault says Brundle.

“I think Vettel will fly, to be honest,” said the former driver.

“In the past, he has given very little attention to team orders with him and [Mark] Webber at Red Bull, and him and [Charles] Leclerc at Ferrari.

“He will have no interest in that, will he? He’ll be driving for himself. There’s no doubt about that.

“Whether he fancies staying in F1? I’m sure he probably does. Does he fancy a works Renault drive or something of that ilk? That remains to be seen.

“But I think he’ll be mighty. I don’t think he’s lost any speed. I think he might have lost a little bit of judgement in close combat, but I think it’s going to be fascinating.

“Quite clearly Ferrari will favour their man for the future, Leclerc, but then many would say they did last year anyway.”

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