Sebastian Vettel, Nicholas Latifi, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Vettel trusts Ferrari gives him same car specification as Leclerc

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he trusts Ferrari are giving him the same car specification as his team mate, despite the large gap between them throughout the season so far.

Tthe pair were separated by over half a second in qualifying yesterday. Vettel started 11 places behind his team mate and finished 10th, six places back from the other Ferrari.

The performance was typical of their season. Vettel lies 13th in the points standings, Leclerc fifth. But Vettel is sure Ferrari are giving them the same equipment.

“I have to think that we have the same car,” he said. “I trust the people around me and in the garage.

“I have one thing that is obviously telling me by the stopwatch and by the lap times, and the other one is by my feeling. Feeling-wise I really struggled to get the good laps together, be consistent and feel the grip that Charles is able to feel. So I’m working [on] it.”

Vettel said the lower starting positions he has had at recent races make it harder for him to achieve the kind of results Leclerc can.

“There’s nothing else other than work that will get me out of it. Together with the team around me I’ll try to make the maximum and hopefully we are in a better place next week.

“Obviously our weakness at the moment is the Saturday. On Sunday we are struggling because we are always in the pack and it’s a very difficult race from then and very different. So probably not always the best sort of comparison on Sunday.”

Asked whether he felt the Ferrari’s characteristics do not suit him as well as Leclerc, Vettel said: “No, I don’t think so.” He believes he cannot feel the same grip levels Leclerc can in his car.

“I’ve been racing for a long time and sometimes you have cars going your way, sometimes not your way,” he said. “But apart from that you’re trying to adapt as soon as you can and that’s something you always have to do and I’m doing also this year. So nothing has changed in this regard.

“It’s about how much grip you feel and how much then you’re using. So in this regard I’ve said that maybe Charles seems to feel a different grip on a different area of the car that I’m not feeling. Clearly I’m not going as fast and not able to feel for whatever reason.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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31 comments on “Vettel trusts Ferrari gives him same car specification as Leclerc”

  1. I thought journalists would ask questions that matter! And not go by what a truck-load of blind fan-boys / AI-bots insinuate on YouTube / Reddit

  2. Such a shame that this washed-up waste of a seat is taking Perez’s place next year. He’s been the worst driver in F1 this year, by a margin.

    1. Sometimes I simply can’t accept that a driver with Vettel’s record would do so, so bad. No matter how lucky he was with Newey’s cars, 4 championships can’t be an incompetent driver’s record.

      What’s happening with Vettel?

      1. I think it’s entirely down to rear end grip and feel. Vettel’s always done well when the car has very good rear grip but the cars in the current regulations seem to have limited rear grip. The drivers who prefer that balance (e.g. Hamilton and Verstappen) are thriving.
        Unless double or blown diffusers, or another similar technology, come back soon I can’t see Vettel returning to winning ways.

      2. @praxis at a minimum, I would expect that Vettel is getting the bare minimum of technical support from Ferrari to reduce the amount of technical information he could potentially take to Racing Point.

        Therefore, it is probably pretty reasonable to assume that the amount of information that he has access to in the driver briefing sessions is being cut back quite a bit – if it is like other teams, there will probably be one sessions with both Leclerc and Vettel, and then Leclerc will be given a separate briefing where only he is given access to the more sensitive information about the car and team.

        That could be one factor in why, although the performance gap might have been smaller at the start of the season – Vettel did even out-qualify Leclerc earlier this season – as time has gone on, the gap has increased between them. Although they might have started out with a similar knowledge of the base car, as time has gone on and Ferrari have introduced updates, it it quite plausible that only Leclerc is being given the full details of those upgrades and how to get the most out of them.

        1. Knowledge is being able to reverse-engineer your competitor’s car. Wisdom is not reverse-engineering the Ferrari.

        2. Spot on Anon.

          Vettel being diplomatic there and straight faced with it too. Very professional stance and to be applauded.

          Realistically, no way would the Red Car Management Team provide all the data to Vettel now which he could take elsewhere. Very same thing happened in 2014 at Red Bull when he was headed towards the Italian set-up. Which explains his sudden downturn of form and after four seasons of splendid reliability and performance with Vettel’s Red Bull cars, that was not maintained. Cue lots of folks equating that season’s data and form to mean the toothsome Aussie is a better driver than the 4xWDC. yeah … right. Now a much wiser Toothsome Aussie knows exactly how that works as “Da Management” at Red Bull aligned with the younger Flying Dutchman. Rightly so it now appears.

          I have been involved with various levels of management in my careers and would do exactly the same to the benefit of the more important team, rather than a driver now considered inferior.

          Sadly the days of F1 as we know and loved it are now strictly numbered. I for one am glad the German will be around next season too to enhance the interest be that for the “Get Vettel” fan boys or those with a genuine love of the sport and all its characters.

          In the final analysis, it is the cars that are always the real stars particularly those carrying the world famous three pointed star motif. .. Ask Hamilton and better still, Bottas who apparently drive identical cars. Except .. Bottas instructed his car is over heating and engine needed to be turned down. That’s OK within “da rools” apparently but, turning it up again is VERBOTTEN. Remind us. How did the Bottas machines shape up in previous races this season? Cue Wolff .. We are looking into it… Yeah .. right. Suddenly well off the pace … Mere coincidence of course. There again, maybe Bottas aint driving ’em right..👀. Yeah .. right…….😉

  3. Vettel couldn’t beat him in equal equipment last year.

    1. As usual there are reasons for that too. Seb struggled more with the car all season long than Charles did. And in the last 5 races when Charles, If he truly was the comprehensively better driver, should have taken a commanding lead over Seb in terms of speed, Seb turned everything around. In the last 5 races he outqualified Charles 3 times (it should’ve been 4 but Bottas messed up in Mexico) and his race pace was better as well. The crash in Brazil only took place because Ferrari pitted Leclerc for fresh tires under the safety car and left Seb out on old rubber. Everything I’ve stated above is fact and proof that when things go well Seb can be just as fast as Leclerc. The end.

      1. Ajmotorsport.

        Ferrari have form for this sort of thing going back yonks. Well before most of the current F1 teams existed in fact. I clearly remember the late and great John Surtees being poorly treated. That after he got the Red Cars in winning shape and provided Championship success.

        Yes, I am that old and have seen John Surtees in action on both two wheels and four Grand Prix machines. Great days gone forever but, never forgotten. Youngsters today will never know what they have missed. The cars and bikes sounded far better too… ….😉

        There again, as many fan-boys insist, Vettel has never been the real deal and simply lucked into his numerous successes. Fan boys not to be confused with Motor Sport Enthusiasts. Poor form and judgement tainted. Obviously that would never happen.

        Unlike say Hamilton who has had the massive handicap to overcome of only driving cars throughout his long F1 career with Three-Pointed-Star power. He overcame that handicap most admirably. How unlucky can one man be with such a handicap … Yet he was able to overcome that…Well done ….😉

        Mind you, I would never play Vettel at Poker. His ability to keep a dead straight professional face whilst saying things like that is worthy of much admiration by all Motor Sport Enthusiasts……😉

    2. It was much, much closer and he did beat him often, if not constantly.

    3. This is true; and the 2019 car was basically the 2018 car which Seb loved. And the 2020 car is basically the 2019 car but with a weaker engine and messed up balance as a result.

      Charles is just faster, just like Daniel was.

  4. Didn’t he admit it yesterday that Leclerc was in a different league then him in terms of pace? Then why try to turn it around and imply that he might not be getting the same equipment? Him being honest with himself first would be the first step to improving his racecraft, assuming if it existed to begin with.

    1. He said “at the moment”… with the sf1000 he can’t beat Charles it doesn’t mean he’s a slower driver

    2. Both might be true. Farrari rightly know Vettel will be competing against them next season, so they have closed him off from any knowledge of what’s to come.

      If there are upgrades, he wont see them. If Ferrari have found new ways to ‘interpret the rules’, those changes will only be known only to Leclerc. If there are secrets in the works, then those secrets won’t be made known to the driver on his way out the door.

      so yes Leclerc may be in a different league, he may also have upgrades and mods, which Vettel isn’t privy to. That said Leclerc drive through the pack at the start was crasy good. The Italian channel showed Leclerc onboard cam, and it mix of great luck and superior judgement which had him sneaking past other cars.

  5. Maybe Leclerc was in a different league because his car was in a different league as compared to Vettel’s.

  6. This season doesn’t give very bright future for Vettel. He was in his element on those 09-13 cars but even though he has won races Vettel seems to struggle a lot more from this generation of cars. I can’t see how that would change in Aston Martin. He lost to Ricciardo in 2014 and now he really is driving his worst season ever. Yes next year he is in a new team but I’m being doubtful until I hear that Vettel feels home in that Aston which could suit him better but isn’t a 2013 Red Bull.

    1. He had two really great years at Ferrari, 2015 and 2017. He even won most Top 10s in 2015 and was very high on the list in 2017.
      There is something just strange about 2020.

  7. Me say alone ramp Ferrari

  8. Vettel is finished as a driver, but he was unfairly criticised as being a driver that only won from the front row of the grid.

    Vettel’s won from the front row in 34 of his 51 wins.

    Hamilton’s won from the front row in 80 of his 92 wins.

    62 of his 69 hybrid era wins from the front row.

    17 of his 21 McLaren wins from the front row.

    It would seem that Vettel is not the driver that needs to be on the front row to win.

    1. Oconomo, is this going to be another one of your tiresome rants where you need to constantly tear down Hamilton because you are offended by the fact that he is denying Verstappen victories?

      Do you really need to keep shoehorning your obsessive rants about Hamilton and your undying fanaticism for Verstappen into everything? Frankly, do you care for anything about racing other than a desperate need to trying to win the “I suck up to Max Verstappen the most” award you seem to think you’ll get for your behaviour?

      1. Max was not mentioned, not even alluded. Over the top response

      2. As melanos said, Verstappen wasn’t mentioned. This was about Vettel and to an extent Hamilton.

        Max has won 4 out of 9 wins from the front row by the way.

        Vettel when he was a good driver (he’s pretty terrible now) won a far greater proportion of races from off the front row than Hamilton. So the idea that Vettel needed clear air to win races is false.

  9. Of course neither VET nor Ferrari will admit it but VET is not happy to be dumped by Ferrari. VET’s driving has been superb since getting dumped, he has managed 10th or less every race with a top 8 car. I think he was hoping someone was close enough today to overtake him for 10th today.

  10. Wasn’t Vettel also quite good at Torro Rosso?

  11. Vettel will have something to prove next season, ;)

  12. Do we know who asked this question? It seems like a load of nonsense to speculate that they have different car specifications. I don’t think I have read a single article from a reputable source in which Vettel has said anything negative about the team this season.

  13. Ferrari rightly ends with him mainly to his wake nerve behaviour under pressure and close fight. Seb deliver 100% in a dominant car only, like most of grid. Rightly its not worth to 40M$/yr more than others. Other side 40M$ are good enough to not blame who feeds you that much, right?

  14. Firstly I am not a huge Vettel fan, but as a follower of Ferrari over the years and looking at how they work, I am pretty sure Vettel will not have the same spec as his team mate…Charles will have the newest of everything, and also they prefer their cars to handle in different ways, so the team will favour Charles…obviously. Also suspect seb maybe slightly not as motivated as he would be…for a 2nd driver..take the money and run seb…and next season…..

  15. At least Vettel’s poor performances are helping Racing Point in the Constructors championship

  16. All these theories on why Vettel inst performing aswell as LEC and i have seen noone mention this,
    is it so hard to imagine that he isnt pushing at all? or atleast not as hard as LEC is? LEC himself says over and over again how hard the car is to drive and that he has several moments every race where he thinks he is going into a wall? so the kid is taking risks with a sketchy car and getting decent results however is that risk worth it for Vettel? he gave many years at ferrari and is a ferrari fanboy then they just drop him like he was nothing, now put yourself in that situation would YOU lift a finger to push or risk your life for a team that just threw you in the bin or would you finish out your contract and collect the paycheck and not risk injoury or life by just driving “safe” (read slow)? i know my answer.

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