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
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022