Sebastian Vettel denies that Germany 2018 was a defining moment in his time with Ferrari as he relives some notable races in the partnership.
The 2018’s German GP, which saw Vettel crash out of the lead at a slippery Hockenheim, was considered a turning point in the now-33-year-old’s title effort that year, giving way to a second half of the season in no way like the first. Given that the unsuccessful 2018 F1 season is often viewed as an inflection point in Vettel’s partnership with Ferrari, the Grand Prix, which took place at the season’s mid point, has been similarly regarded.
However, Vettel denies this notion, saying that a number of factors contributed to the inauspicious nature of the relationship. Among such things, he says, were the passing of FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, and the change in team leadership from Maurizio Arrivabene to Mattia Binotto.
“In terms of momentum in that year it wasn’t helping,” said Vettel to media including Motorsport Network, Racefans.net, F1, BBC and more. “The mistake was a little mistake, but a huge outcome, and a huge penalty. But there were definitely more things happening I think in the 2018 season.
“We’ve had the passing of Mr. Marchionne, the change in leadership from Maurizio to Mattia, so maybe the ’18 year was a decisive year for many things. But I don’t know if you can really break it down to only one thing. Obviously in 2016 we parted ways with James [Allison], because of personal conflicts at the time. And I think that looking back there were a lot of things that we should have and could have done better,” Vettel said.
“But everything that happened happened for a reason. The main thing I think, on my side is to make sure that I learned from it, and I think I have grown with it, somewhere, moments on the track, like you mentioned in Germany or Hockenheim.
“Other moments were off the track. So overall, I think I feel much more comfortable or in a better place now than than those years ago, but certainly at the time, it hasn’t always been been easy and straightforward,” he summed up.
Vettel still holds certain moments dear, though, from his time at the iconic Italian manufacturer. The German names the 2015 Malaysian GP – his first race at the F1 team – the 2017 Monaco GP, and his win in Canada in 2018, as notable highlights.
“Well, I think the first one stands out, it’s always special,” said Vettel. “So Malaysia ’15. I think the race in Monaco in ’17, winning in Monaco is always special. Probably the win in ’18 in Canada. Obviously, we had a couple of wins to choose from, not enough. But still a couple to choose from as maybe high moments or emotional highs.”
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