I’ve always enjoyed watching cars, or any reasonable vehicle, go around in circles.
Motorsport is a career I wish I could have entered, but never had the opportunity, finances or even remotely an ounce of the required skill and bravery.
So, I’ve had to settle for watching it on TV and playing video games. Lately, those games have evolved into simulator racing titles, which are both enjoyable and further evidence of my uselessness.
Anyway, after spending some years really following F1 (about 8 years in a ‘hardcore’ capacity), I feel I’m something of a couch expert..ish. And since this is my blog, I will spew my drivel.
Seb Vettel is one of those drivers that I would call a ‘typical multiple World Driver’s Championship (WDC) winner’.
By that I mean, somehow who has rightly earned themselves acclaim, but now believes that the systems of F1 work for their benefit alone. If things do not go their way, all must bow and scrape to achieve what THEY want, because they feel entitled to it.
You can add Lewis Hamilton to that list, although he adds spades of hollow humility to it. At least in my opinion.
Seb, back in his heyday at RBR (Red Bull Racing) cleaned up. He really was that good. But as the modern era of F1 has proven, you can be a fantastic driver, but the lead team whose car is just objectively better than all others will streak ahead almost regardless of the driver.
cough Mercedes cough
Seb eventually moved to Ferrari as every driver bar none has dreamed to do. The famed team with more toxicity than Chernobyl, but in a shiny red car.
Scuderia Arrogant Tools
It’s no secret that Ferrari has performed poorly in recent years for all manner of reasons we won’t discuss here. However, their recent treatment of Seb is beyond disrespectful.
I’m one of those people who believe that despite one’s previous accolades, you still need to earn respect on a daily basis.
Just be a decent human. That’s it.
In 2019, Ferrari started with Charles LeClerc. The ridiculously good Monégasque is deserving of that seat. As always, Ferrari plays favourites and this led Seb to be the new #2.
Now Ferrari’s internal politics aside, and all their internal issues of 2019, Seb still did not deserve to be fired in the way he was.
Massively paraphrasing, he received a phone call from team boss Mattia Binotto saying:
Hey Seb. Listen, we’re cutting you at the end of 2020 and this is not open for discussion. See you at the next race.
Now that is some rubbish right there.
Fast forward some months, and we’re 6 races into the contracted 2020 season. Seb is running in races where his team fails to provide him with any kind of race strategy or even the courtesy of regular communication while in the car.
In the Spanish GP, he was doing maths on behalf of his team at 300+ kph because they couldn’t be arsed to do it themselves, even after his teammate retired. Imagine hating your driver so much that you are (seemingly) prepared to let your own team fail just to save face.
Seb himself is clearly off his game, this much is clear. But when your team is clearly putting no effort into your car, not preparing a strategy, and treating you with less respect than the gum under your shoes, you have really hit rock bottom and not much more can be expected.
Seb is still respected by those that matter
Seb did show his class in Spain however. Managing to do half a race of horrible soft tyres and still ending in the points. A truly super-human effort.
While I disliked Seb’s attitude, especially when he was on top, he is clearly one of the best. His achievements have proven this. The countless of ‘good-guy Seb’ videos on YouTube have proven quite convincingly that even today, with all his status, he absolutely thinks of everyone equally and respectfully.
A video of him being interviewed pre-race in the rain by Sky Sports where he politely scolded Johnny Herbert for allowing his Sound Engineer to be rained on whilst he was under an umbrella comes to mind.
I hope that no other driver will need to undergo this kind of treatment (especially his new replacement Carlos Sainz, who I really like) and that his experience will serve as both a warning to drivers and teams alike.
There are many rumours linking Seb to the new Aston Martin Works team (or revised Racing Point depending on your views) for 2021. Personally, I hope he goes there and drives circles around everyone like the machine that he is.
Especially those buggers in the red car.