‘We’ve moved on’ – Vettel denies increasing tensions within Ferrari
An angry Sebastian Vettel was heard berating his team over the radio at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix over a strategy call that he would later say “didn’t make any sense”. But ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Vettel denied that tensions were growing within the team in what is his final season with Ferrari.
The four time world champion took just one point to Charles Leclerc’s 27 from the two races held at Silverstone, with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix a particularly galling one for Vettel, as he spun on his own at the first corner of the race, before Ferrari strategy left him P11 at the chequered flag as Leclerc finished fourth.
But when it was put to him in Barcelona that tensions appeared to be increasing between himself and Ferrari – following Ferrari’s decision to replace him with Carlos Sainz for 2021 – Vettel replied: “I don't agree with the statement. I think we're trying to do everything we can.
“Obviously it's never relaxed if things don't go your way or they go wrong, so naturally I think if you judge just the emotions right after the race or during the race, then I don't think that's a fair reflection of what actually is going on, hence why I would tend to disagree.
“I didn't have a great race, we tried to come back up and we could have opted for maybe a different strategy but we didn't. We've talked about it, sorted it out and moved on, so there's not much difference in terms of climate compared to the week before, or even before that.”
Asked later if 2020 had been his worst season in F1 to date, Vettel responded: “No… I don't like labelling seasons… but certainly the last race wasn't my best, that I can say, and I think whatever the situation is, I trust the people around me and the guys working on my car.
“I’ve been in a happier place,” he added. “I love, obviously, fighting at the front. I love winning and feeling that you can achieve great results and that we haven't done yet.
"It will be difficult this year with the package that we have, but I think Charles has proven that still you can do good races, and obviously if you make sure you are in the right position, you are able to also be in a position to benefit from it, and then you can still get a podium.
“I think this is how it always has worked, and many times I've found myself on the better side, now lately not so much, but then again it's been two weeks, and prior to that, I think it's been quite straightforward. But overall if you sum it up, it's not the best season start that I ever had, but I wouldn't go as far as frustration.”
Meanwhile, Vettel will receive a new chassis for the Spanish Grand Prix, after damage was found on his existing SF1000 chassis after Silverstone. But the former Barcelona winner wasn’t expecting the swap to contribute to a significant change in his fortunes this weekend.
“Only time can tell [if it’s better],” he said, “but the thinking behind it is that we changed it because the other one was broken. We found a little crack after the weekend in Silverstone and it's back to get repaired and probably becomes the spare chassis at some point, but now the spare becomes my race chassis.
"We will see. I don't expect miracles, but hopefully I'll have a smoother weekend and a smoother race on Sunday.”