De­mor­alised Vet­tel should quit Fer­rari now – Berger

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Tom Cary

Ger­hard Berger, the former Fer­rari driver, has urged Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and the Ital­ian team to get a quickie di­vorce now rather than limp on un­til the end of the sea­son.

Vet­tel, the four-time world cham­pion, is be­ing re­placed by McLaren’s Car­los Sainz Jnr at the Scud­e­ria next year and looks to have men­tally checked out al­ready. The Ger­man has been miles off the pace of his young team-mate Charles Le­clerc.

At last week­end’s 70th An­niver­sary Grand Prix at Silverston­e, Vet­tel spun on the open­ing lap and then pub­licly ac­cused his team over the ra­dio of “mess­ing up” his race strat­egy by re­leas­ing him into traf­fic.

The 33-year-old fin­ished 12th, nearly a minute be­hind Le­clerc, who leads him by nine places and 35 points in the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship.

“For the mood in the re­spec­tive teams, it would be best to switch to the 2021 line-ups now,” Berger, who chalked up 10 race wins dur­ing his 13-year For­mula One ca­reer be­tween 1984 and 1997, told Aus­trian tele­vi­sion.

Do­ing so would not be straight­for­ward. It is un­der­stood that Fer­rari have not ap­proached McLaren over re­leas­ing Sainz from his post.

And it is un­clear whether Vet­tel – who is poised to join Rac­ing Point next year – would be able to move early to the Silverston­e-based team.

One op­tion might be for Ser­gio Perez to move to Maranello for the rest of this sea­son in ex­change. Nico Hulken­berg, who has im­pressed as a stand-in for Perez, could also be a short-term op­tion for Fer­rari should Vet­tel’s time with the Ital­ian team end pre­ma­turely.

Ei­ther way, Ross Brawn, the former Fer­rari boss who is now man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for the For­mula One group, be­lieves Vet­tel and his old team should have talks to en­sure the re­la­tion­ship does not spi­ral out of con­trol.

“It’s go­ing to be a mea­sure of Se­bas­tian and the team how they deal with the rest of the sea­son,” Brawn said. “They clearly have a very frus­trated driver, and they need to find ways of keep­ing it to­gether for the rest of the year, for the in­ter­ests of both of them.

“They need to try to turn a loselose into a win-win.

“When I met th­ese sit­u­a­tions in my ca­reer, I’d sit down with the driver one-to-one and un­der­stand what the is­sues are.

“Then you look at bring­ing peo­ple into the dis­cus­sions, engi­neers etc, that are go­ing to be helpful to im­prove things.”

Frus­trated: Four-time cham­pion Se­bas­tian Vet­tel ac­cused his Fer­rari team of mess­ing up his race at Silverston­e

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