‘Vettel underestimated the Ferrari challenge’

Date published: February 4 2017

Sebastian Vettel underestimated the magnitude of what Michael Schumacher did at Ferrari when he decided to join the Scuderia, that’s according to Gerhard Berger.

Vettel swapped his four-time championship-winning Red Bull team for Ferrari in 2015 in the hope that he could hand them their first World title since 2007.

That has not come to fruition.

Instead last season the German struggled just to reach the podium, resulting in criticism from the driver and the team.

Berger, who had two separate stints with Ferrari in the ’80s and ’90s, believes Vettel may have underestimated the challenge that awaited him at Maranello.

“He underestimated what Michael did at the time,” the Austrian said in an interview with Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell.

“Michael went to Ferrari but with Benetton people in his luggage.

“When he arrived, Ferrari was in the state that it is today.

“Sebastian should have made the move to Ferrari only if he could do as Michael did, taking key figures from Red Bull with him.”

As for speculation that Vettel could be tempted to Mercedes should Ferrari fail to improve in 2017, Berger says that may be a choice the German has to face before the year is out.

“I do not see that there will be much change in Ferrari for 2017,” he said. “So then Vettel would have to make a decision.”