Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Hakkinen has a feeling that Sebastian Vettel has lost some faith in Ferrari as he has to worry for things he shouldn’t in a title fight.
The German has been in the best position to not only challenge for the world title but also to win it considering the advantage Ferrari has managed to eke out in their car performance from rivals Mercedes.
However, it finds itself in a spot of bother, sitting 37 points behind in the constructors’ and 40 in drivers’ after 15 races with six remaining. Following the Singapore GP loss, German reports quoted Vettel of wanting tips from Michael Schumacher if he had been here.
Hakkinen said he understands why Vettel would want advice as the Finn feels that the German is losing faith in the team with his mind not clear enough towards the title. “The race result was a big disappointment to Ferrari in general, and Vettel in particular.
“I have seen that he has said he wishes he had Michael Schumacher available to ask for advice, and I can understand why. Working very closely with the management and senior technical staff, Michael knew how to help get the most out of the Ferrari team.
“And it looks like Vettel has lost some faith in the team to provide him with the necessary support. Once a driver starts worrying about things outside of the car, it can be a real problem in terms of focus and mindset.
“If Vettel is to win the World Championship, his mind has to be clear,” wrote Hakkinen. The former champion is certain that Ferrari is making their own life harder this year and have taken some strange decisions including that of using ultrasoft in Q2 in Singapore.
“Ferrari should really be leading this Championship, but there have been too many mistakes, and some strange decisions,” he wrote. “Vettel’s little accident during Friday practice upset the rhythm at the start of the weekend, for example.
“They seemed to recover ok, as Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were first and second in final practice. However, this made it even more difficult to understand their decision to take some risks with tyre choice during Q2 in qualifying.
“That contributed to Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen not having the same build up to the final qualifying runs in Q1. Ferrari is making life hard for itself at times.” While he felt depressing for Ferrari, but at the same time had good words for the teamwork in Mercedes.
Hakkinen thinks that Mercedes has worked extremely hard to cutback on its shortcomings and praised Lewis Hamilton to eke out the results. “Sunday was a big step for Lewis Hamilton towards winning this year’s World Championship,” he wrote.
“For everyone expecting Mercedes to have a tough weekend at the Singapore track, the result underlined the big improvements the team has made to its car in terms of traction in lower-speed corners.
“I have said before that the Mercedes cars have been balanced on a fine edge at times in terms of set-up, but the team has clearly worked very hard on improving all areas of performance.
“Even though Ferrari seems to have the fastest car, Mercedes’ ability to get the best performance out of their package, combined with good strategy and team work, is continuing to give them the advantage.
“The Hamilton partnership with Valtteri Bottas works well, and the team is in a very strong position as a result.” Aside the usual suspects, like Ross Brawn, he was impressed with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen’s qualifying and race performance.
He thought the Dutchman did well considering the power disadvantage. Aside the race analysis, Hakkinen felt happy for Kimi Raikkonen to still continue racing in F1 with the same determination and hunger.
[Check: Singapore GP stats]