Rob Dylan wrote:Has Vettel continually damaged his reputation since 2014? Once again he has a new, younger teammate who appears to be getting the best of him, and at least taking the majority of the glory this year for Ferrari. I feel like every season something like this happens, it takes a little of the respect and "place in the history books" stuff away, considering Vettel's entire career post-2013 has been peppered with performances and mistakes not befitting of a four-time world champion.
There's no doubt his mentality has been questionable.
I looked back on his championships and despite my memory being "VETTELWINSLOL" (ie. pulls out a lead early, manages the gap, doesn't really get pressured, ez win), he was pushed right to the wire in 2010 and 2012 by Alonso. So at that point in his career, he was able to perform under pressure.
But hasn't been able to since 2012. He won 2013 by a mile and since then it largely hasn't been good for him since. He was quite good in 2016 but that was in his first season with Ferrari, who were poor in 2015, when there wasn't a whole lot in terms of expectation, so he could relax and just drive.
He should've taken control of the Championship in the summer of 2018, but didn't (60-70% his fault, the rest was the team's), and he's looked this season like he's not got over that. Canada didn't help, he really should've won that but for, imo, a BS penalty. Throw in a more competitive team mate in the form of Leclerc, the mistakes, his comments about not liking F1 at the moment, and he has all the hallmarks of a guy who's getting sick of driving around in circles.
Although he's not the only multiple WDC to have a problem with a team-mate who could match him. Let's not forget Hamilton, justifiably considered the best all round driver on the grid at the moment, did a lot of sulking when Rosberg was able to match him for pace. If I recall he only just stopped short of accusing the team of sabotaging him. One wonders how he'd cope with an upcoming talented driver like Leclerc at Mercedes instead of Bottas who will never, ever
be as fast as him.
They seem to be a highly strung breed.
Vettel either needs a big performance between now and the end of the season or to go and refresh himself mentally over the winter or he'll be out of the sport soon.