Sebastian Vettel seems to have doubts: does he have the same car as Leclerc?
Ex-world champion Sebastian Vettel puzzles why his teammate Charles Leclerc feels better grip on the track than he does. Doesn’t the Heppenheimer have the same car? Ferrari team nipped all conspiracy theories in the bud.
The Ferrari team has speculated that Charles Leclerc’s SF1000 could be technically different from Sebastian Vettel’s car, relegated to the realm of fables: “The cars of Seb and Charles are undoubtedly identical,” said team boss Mattia Binotto to Italian TV -Colleagues from “Sky” clear.
Previously, Vettel Ferrari had not assumed manipulation, but sparked a little with the fact that Leclerc might get other material. For example, when he once again bit his teeth at Leclerc’s time in a free practice session in Portimao, he was amazed on the pit radio: “That’s all there is in the car. At least in this car.”
Leclerc “obviously” has the faster car
And in the TV interviews after the race Vettel indicated that it was “obvious” that “the other car is much faster”. Which he probably just wanted to express that he currently sees no country against Leclerc. But then the phrase “Charles” instead of “the other car” would have helped to prevent the conspiracy theories from fueling any further.
When Vettel sits next to Binotto in the Ferrari media panel on Sunday evenings, his analysis sounds like this: “I have to believe that we have the same car and I trust the people in my garage.” By that he means the group of three or four engineers who are explicitly assigned to him. The top management, Binotto and Co., probably less, could be interpreted.
This year is lost for Vettel
“The stopwatch is one thing,” says Vettel. “The other is my feeling. I have really trouble getting good laps together, being consistent and feeling the grip that Charles obviously feels. I’m working on it. I have no choice but to work hard to pull myself out of it . “
Or just wait until the season is over. “This year is lost”, fears “Mister DTM” Bernd Schneider on the niche channel ‘SPORT1’. “I think Vettel can not wait for the year to end. The way he can present himself at the moment, he will not be satisfied. I can only keep my fingers crossed that it will be better next year.”
Vettel still has bite and will show that Ferrari was wrong
“He is still young and still has bite. He will still want to show that Ferrari was wrong. I am convinced that we will still see a lot of positive things from him,” says Schneider, who has a longstanding relationship with Vettel : “I know him from karting. […] I saw his talent and was convinced that he was going his way. “
Trust that Ferrari has long lost in Vettel. “I really hope that Sebastian will qualify further up in Imola,” said Binotto. “Then maybe he can show what he’s made of in the race.” Vettel nods: “Our weakness is Saturday. On Sunday I only have problems because I’m stuck in traffic. The races are of course difficult.”
Vettel: “Of course it hurts”
It is also clear: “Charles is certainly very good. But you might expect a little more from the second driver,” said Binotto, criticizing the long-time number 1 of the Ferrari team, who slipped to number 2 in 2020. Such “chatter around it”, says Vettel, “doesn’t really matter” to him. But: “Of course it hurts. My own expectations are much higher than the expectations from outside.”
For the “other side” (he means Leclerc) things are just easier, the four-time world champion states soberly: “Some idiot may never figure it out, but whether I’m a complete idiot? I dare to doubt that. At some point you should be lucky and hit the curve. “
Vettel not as fast as Leclerc for some reason
The 33-year-old wipes the theory that Vettel does not cope with the narrow limit of the Ferrari as well as Leclerc and that a possibly loose rear end gives him a headache: “I don’t think so. I’ve been racing for a long time. Sometimes you suit a car is better, sometimes worse. “
“But you try to adjust to that as best you can. You always have to do that anyway, and that is also the case this year. Nothing has changed in that regard. It is more about the question of how much grip you feel and how you do it Charles may feel something different than me in that regard. What is clear is that for some reason I’m not as fast as him. “
Leclerc: “I only look at myself”
A problem that is not Ferrari specific in 2020. The Red Bull RB16 is also considered difficult to drive. Max Verstappen hits the possibly narrow “sweet spot” better than Alexander Albon. You can see from Pierre Gasly that this doesn’t just have to be due to his driving talent. It didn’t look good at Red Bull 2019, but it blooms in the more docile AlphaTauri.
Leclerc leaves it all cold: “I just look at myself,” he says. “I feel good in the car. We brought a few updates and they seem to go in the direction of my driving style. That helps me.” He certainly improved as a driver in 2019. “I try to improve from race to race. And that is going very well right now,” says the Monegasse.
This article was written by Christian Nimmervoll, co-author: Jonathan Noble
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