Vettel too obsessed with race wins to take title, says Briatore

Former Formula 1 team boss Flavio Briatore believes Sebastian Vettel’s biggest mistake this year was trying too hard to win races rather than focus on the championship.

Vettel too obsessed with race wins to take title, says Briatore

Vettel is now 67 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship, and needs a set of freak circumstances if he is going to overhaul his Mercedes rival.

But on the back of a run of errors from Vettel and his Ferrari team that left the door open for Mercedes to succeed, Briatore thinks the real mistake was not playing the long game.

He suggests that incidents like in Germany and Italy – where Vettel determination to win ended up causing crashes – are proof of too much obsession on going for the victory each time.

"Vettel is not winning the championship, he's winning races and it doesn't work like that," said Briatore in a podcast interview with former world champion Nico Rosberg.

"If you lose out in three or four opportunities like that, it's 25 points thrown away every time and it's becoming very difficult after that mentally.

"I believe the stress you have as a driver is enormous and if you're in the position to handle the stress and do the job and not go out [retire from races], you're winning. Because when you go out, it's the worst possible scenario – we know that."

Briatore says that the mindset of going for the championship is something that he had to teach Fernando Alonso when they won titles for Renault in 2005 and 2006.

And he points to Monza last month, when Vettel lost out in a wheel-to-wheel moment with Hamilton, as evidence of the German trying unnecessarily hard.

"You need to explain to him that the race is 53 laps, and not one lap," he said. "I remember we had the same experience with Fernando.

"When you want to win the championship finishing third place is already bingo. It's important to stay on the track.

"His [Vettel's] accident in Monza made no sense, honestly. You know the car is better, you just brake and stay behind, finito. You have 50 more laps to recover it.

"If you go out, you have zero laps to recover. Sure, with the car he has he could finish fourth because the car is better than the rest of the competition. But when you want to win the championship you have to be a master at that and do well and finish second and third also.

"The target is to just get the points. You don't need to win every race to win the championship. It's not about the race wins, it's about the points.

"If you have a competitive car, you overtake somebody. If you are going to have an accident with the guy who has more points than you, the advantage goes to your competitor."

Nico Rosberg, Flavio Briatore

Nico Rosberg, Flavio Briatore

Photo by: Nico Rosberg

shares
comments
Renault will "try anything" except focus on own car - Haas
Previous article

Renault will "try anything" except focus on own car - Haas

Next article

The other driver getting a third shot at F1

The other driver getting a third shot at F1
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021