Two finishes that resulted in tenth on the grid, a race with DNF written all over it, and another finish outside of points on the twelfth place, to be fair to Sebastian Vettel, his current season looks anything but interesting and nothing that the four-time world champion might have desired especially if ending his Ferrari run on a high was the agenda.
But now it seems, come the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix and Vettel would at least, have something that could end some of the woes he’s been amid. Apparently, a brand new car chassis should lend a certain about of stability to the vastly jaded machinery that the Ferrari driver is competing with.
A new part, it is often said, can ease the tensities of being amid the high-octane Grand Prix drama. So can the new Ferrari chassis of the car ease some of Vettel’s pains?
Here’s what we do know…
After six rounds, it’s safe to say this is not the start of a season Sebastian Vettel would’ve liked. Seeing the rather lacklustre performances he’s had so far, it’s not hard to make that these are not (at all) reminiscent of the kind of driver who has no fewer than 53 race wins against his names and a tally, not to forget, with 100s of podium finishes.
There was a time where regardless of his failures to win the title with the famous Scuderia family, Sebastian Vettel would compete at the front of the grid. And clinch the odd win, here and there. But the driver we’ve grown accustomed on seeing on the 2020 grid is someone who appears a completely different character in absolute contrast to the one enjoying competitive seasons with the same team in the past.
Vettel’s troubles this season
In fact, it hurts to note that someone of Sebastian Vettel’s capacity and flair is competing outside the top ten, and is stationed in twelfth on the current driver’s championship.
Could anything hurt more?
Part of the blame is down to the kind of car Vettel has been assigned. It doesn’t make one the Einstein of Grand Prix racing to note the Heppenheim-born’s struggles to come to terms with the SF 1000, a visibly insipid machine that’s recalcitrant to his desires of pushing and ambitions to finish way clear of where he habitually is given the last few rounds.
While the accident with Charles Leclerc, howsoever understandable that it may have been after a while at the Styrian Grand Prix, what’s cut a sorry figure for the driver with multiple world titles against his name is to see that despite finishing a race, he’s often either managed a P10 or a P12, where seen in the 70th anniversary Grand Prix.
The car, on its part, is severely low on downforce, lacks the horsepower, and its ‘weak-on-the-rear’ aerodynamic design have only exacerbated Sebastian Vettel’s woes.
Vettel has every right to be angry
In fact, last week, as if the car’s troubles weren’t enough to strangle Vettel’s 52-lap challenge at Silverstone, a dubious strategy amplified by Vettel being made to box for harder compounds that ran for only 10 laps and mediums for 20 compromised his race.
Not a tact that would admittedly please the driver himself, Vettel would later claim, “I try to get out of the bed and try to do the best as I possibly can but I was running out of tires towards the end, so we spoke about exactly that!”
While he must be criticized for the spin, an incident that took place early during the race that compromised his start, on the team’s part, the strategy on the compound choice really hurt his race in that toward the end of the contest – held amid soaring track temperatures and visible heat- Vettel had no rubber left to push for a position inside points.
The new chassis
Interestingly, it was because of the spin that involved contact with the kerbs that left Vettel’s chassis with a small hampering. The right corrective measure, the team admitted, was to give the German a brand new chassis, on the matter of which the team’s head of Chassis engineering, Simone Rests said, “Sebastian will have a new chassis because, after the Silverstone post-race analysis, we spotted a small fault caused by a heavy impact over a kerb!”
The only thing to watch out for now is whether this can help Vettel in some ways on the track. Will it result in improved performance? Well, we can only know from Friday’s free practice.