‘Vettel’s racecraft is poor these days’

Michelle Foster
'Vettel's racecraft is poor these days'

'Vettel's racecraft is poor these days'

Sebastian Vettel’s spin at the Austrian GP, involving no other than his 2021 Ferrari replacement, was a “Vettel special” according to Jolyon Palmer.

The four-time World Champion has had a tough time of late with one too many mistakes earning him wide-spread criticism.

While last season his team-mate Charles Leclerc was declared the darling of the tifosi, Vettel was condemned for his on-track errors.

He finished the 2019 championship P5, behind his team-mate in the standings for only the second time in his Formula 1 career.

Months later Vettel learned of his Ferrari axing, informed by team boss Mattia Binotto that his services would not be required after this year’s championship.

Instead Ferrari would be turning to Carlos Sainz for a 2021 driver.

As such Vettel arrived on the Red Bull Ring grid for the opening race of the season needing to prove to everyone, especially Ferrari, that they had made a mistake.

He didn’t.

Racing Sainz for position, the German spun his SF1000 and dropped to the very back of the field.

He did recover to finish tenth on the day but, given that only 11 drivers saw the chequered flag, that was not exactly a glowing achievement.

Palmer has billed it as a “Vettel special”.

“I’m afraid it was a Vettel special,” the former Renault driver told the BBC Sport.

“It’s exactly what he always seem to be doing.

“A tentative look to the side of Carlos Sainz into the apex – it was a standard Vettel spin. A tiny wheel-to-wheel kiss.”

The Brit reckons it was yet another display of Vettel’s “poor” driving, something he is going to have to work on if Ferrari spend this year in the midfield.

Although Leclerc was second at the Austrian Grand Prix, the result was not in line with Ferrari’s pace with the Scuderia lagging well behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

In fact it looks as if McLaren and Racing Point are also ahead in pace.

Palmer added: “It’s just not good racing from Sebastian Vettel.

“His racecraft is poor now, and sometimes the racecraft is better in the midfield.”

Vettel believes part of the blame for Sunday’s poor showing belongs to his SF1000.

“To be honest I’m happy I spun only once,” he said after the race.

“It was tight, it was Carlos, I think, one of the McLarens, I lost the rear and to be honest, I lost it a couple of times – I’m glad I only spun once.

“It was quite entertaining at the end, but the not the result I wanted.”

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