Horner: F1 not seeing the "real" Vettel in 2020

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has defended his former driver Sebastian Vettel after the German's difficult start to the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Horner: F1 not seeing the "real" Vettel in 2020

Horner said F1 is not seeing the “real Sebastian Vettel” at the moment, suggesting that he is struggling in his current environment.

Vettel won four world championships with Red Bull in 2010-13 before joining Ferrari in 2015. Since then he has won 14 races with the Italian team, and was runner-up in the championship in both 2017 and 2018.

However, he has not be retained for 2021, and thus far this season he has struggled to match teammate Charles Leclerc, scoring 16 points to Leclerc's 45.

Horner was asked by Motorsport.com if Vettel was struggling now in part because cars have changed since he excelled in the days of blown diffusers.

“Well, not really,” said Horner. “I mean, Sebastian drove with refuelling, no refuelling, blown diffusers, no diffusers, f-ducts, no f-ducts, DRS, no DRS. He drove a whole variance of different cars over the years.

“And obviously what he achieved in the period during those years with Red Bull was quite special. I think he's the third most successful driver in the history of the sport.

“And he has achieved some incredible things, many records which will stand for some time. So, for whatever reason, things aren’t working for him at the moment. I think any driver has to be happy in their environment, and you can see that he's carrying quite a lot of weight on his shoulders.

“And that has a bearing on any on any sportsman, on any athlete. So I don't think we're seeing the real Sebastian Vettel at the moment. He’s obviously having a difficult time with the product that he has at the moment. But you can't take away anything that he's achieved obviously in his career to date.”

Read Also:

Vettel himself insists that he hasn’t given up on 2020, and he wants to finish his Ferrari career on a high.

“Well the year isn’t over,” he said in Spa on Thursday. “So I think as a team we obviously try to make progress, and individually try to make the best out of the situation.

"It is what it is, it’s not an easy one, but as I said, we are trying to make the most out of it. I trust the people that I have around me, the guys in the garage.

“There’s a lot of people, I’ve said this before, who have given so much over the years. It’s only a sign of respect to give everything that I have back as well, independent of the amount of races that I have left for the team.

“So I think I don’t look at it that way to be honest, I don’t look at the negatives or the bad things. I think first of all, I’m not counting the races, I’m going race by race, and I’m trying to do my job, to do the best I can looking forward. I’m always optimistic, and rather see the opportunity than the struggles.

“Independent of what happens next year and the years after that, I’m trying to enjoy the time that I have left with the guys that I’ve spent so much time with in the last years.”

shares
comments

Related video

How Sakhir GP will smash a 46-year-old record

Previous article

How Sakhir GP will smash a 46-year-old record

Next article

Belgian GP practice as it happened

Belgian GP practice as it happened
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Adam Cooper
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021