Ex-Ferrari academy boss, Luca Baldisseri, has criticised Sebastian Vettel for being “an overrated driver” as Formula One heads to Germany this weekend, the four-time world champion’s ‘home race’.
Baldisseri has suggested that Vettel should play a support role to his 21-year-old team-mate, Charles Leclerc, who has claimed a podium finish in each of the last four races, but still trails the German in the standings.
“I am critical of Vettel. I think he is an overrated driver and not the successor to Michael Schumacher.
“When Leclerc becomes a more mature and experienced rider, he will need a team-mate who can help and support. I believe Vettel has the necessary experience to become an excellent partner for Leclerc” Baldisseri said.
This is a driver who headed into the 2018 German Grand Prix leading the championship by 8 points yet fast-forward 12 months, and he is now viewed as somebody that should be a number 2 driver at Ferrari.
As Baldisseri said, it is the continued errors in Vettel’s form that creates such doubt from people in the German.
“There is still the driver that won four world championships, but he makes too many mistakes and has to find himself in some way” Baldisseri added.
And this weekend, Formula One arrives at a track which witnessed in 2018, perhaps the biggest error of all from the four-time world champion.
A mistake which saw Vettel crash out of his ‘home race’ whilst leading, to subsequently lose his championship lead and a lead that he has never been able to re-gain.
It is viewed by many as the catalyst for the downfall in his title challenge that year with Lewis Hamilton.
Will it be redemption this time around for Vettel? His best finish around the Hockenheimring is third.
Not only does he need redemption for his costly error last year, but also for his mistake in the last race around Silverstone, where Vettel locked up subsequently crashing into the back of Max Verstappen for both to go off track.
Meanwhile, following four consecutive podium finishes, positivity is in full flow for Leclerc but a maiden race victory still eludes the Monegasque.
Another record-breaking weekend for Lewis Hamilton?
Of all the people to benefit from Vettel’s crash in Germany last year, Hamilton perhaps did so the largest.
Heading into that race, the momentum was fully flown in Vettel’s direction as the two battled out for the title.
The Ferrari driver had just won in Hamilton’s own backyard the race prior – Silverstone – and then qualified on pole in Germany.
Yet, as is known, Vettel messed up to completely change the momentum in Hamilton’s direction, who then won that race from 14th on the grid and leave Germany leading the standings by 17 points.
And since then, the gap between the two has only increased with Vettel adding to his mistakes with Hamilton just getting better.
The five-time world champion is already ahead of Vettel by 100 points after only 10 rounds in the 2019 championship and will potentially break another record this weekend.
Hamilton is currently tied with Schumacher on four German GP wins and should he be triumphant this weekend, then he will have the all time F1 record for most victories in Germany.
Another record in sight for Hamilton after he had just claimed one at Silverstone, becoming the only man to win the British GP six times.
However, for qualifying this weekend, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas is perhaps the favourite.
With the most pole positions of any driver thus far in 2019, Bottas also out-qualified his team-mate here last year, whilst 2008 remains Hamilton’s only career pole in Germany – but that shouldn’t bother him too much, considering he is going for a record breaking victory this weekend.
Hamilton currently leads the championship by 39 points and should he win this weekend, then only 10 victories is needed for him to tie Schumacher’s all-time race victory record of 91.
Haas to run with different specifications again
At the British Grand Prix, Haas decided to compete with a different specification on each car in a bid to understand their turbulent performances as of recent races, with a contrast between qualifying form to race pace.
For example, Kevin Magnussen qualified in sixth around Monte Carlo only to finish in P14 and a lap down.
But, a collision between both team-mates on lap one in Silverstone resulted in a lack of data collected due to an early double DNF.
Magnussen will race with their latest upgraded car, whilst Romain Grosjean will compete in the car that was used in Australia for round one.
A season that started with so much positivity for the American team has now resulted to this, as they have subsequently found themselves, at times, racing with Williams at the back.
Even Haas’ sponsor, Rich Energy, have reportedly ended their partnership due to poor performances from the team.