Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari driver trusts team to help him through poor run

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel spun out at the first corner at Silverstone on Sunday
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel spun out at the first corner at Silverstone on Sunday

Sebastian Vettel says he trusts Ferrari to help him resolve a run of poor form that has left him lagging behind team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Vettel was 12th in Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone and 10th at the British GP a week before, with Leclerc fourth and third.

Vettel said: “It is not the best run for me but I trust the team around me and everyone in the garage.

“I don’t think it can get much worse from where I am so it will get better.”

Vettel spun on his own at the first corner at Silverstone on Sunday, the latest in a series of driving errors from the four-time champion dating back to 2017, and then criticised the team’s pit-stop strategy over the radio saying they “knew they had messed up”.

Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season after the team decided not to offer him a new contract, was struggling for pace on both weekends at Silverstone, although he improved from 0.912secs adrift of Leclerc in qualifying at the first race to 0.369secs behind at the second.

The German, who adopted a set-up with more downforce than Leclerc for the 70th Anniversary GP to try to improve his performance, said he did not understand why he was struggling.

“We had two weekends in the same place and from Saturday morning last week I was not able to make any progress - that is the thing that stands out first,” Vettel said.

“Around the lap it is a bit more difficult to judge this weekend because we ran slightly different downforce levels on the car, but it seems like a fairly even loss and mostly I struggled in the slow and medium speed corners.”

He pointed out that he had been more competitive with Leclerc at previous races this season, with the exception of the opening Austrian Grand Prix, where he had a brake problem.

Team boss Mattia Binotto said he did not believe the strategy had particularly compromised Vettel but that the team would work to help him improve his performance.

“Whatever we can do to help is important, for us, for Sebastian,” Binotto said.

While Vettel struggled on Sunday, Leclerc put in an outstanding drive to finish fourth after qualifying eighth, using a one-stop strategy, something only two other drivers were able to pull off.

Leclerc said: “For me it feels like a victory, and of course it's not looking good once we call a fourth place a victory, but at the moment it's where we are at.

"Last year I think my weakest point was the tyre management, and I've worked very hard, and every time I work and that I see the results are still on track, it's a huge satisfaction.

"And to get a fourth place, I expected to go eighth in the best-case scenario or further down the grid.

“To be honest, we need to analyse to understand why we were so quick, because I don't really understand for now where we managed to achieve this performance.”