Seb Vettel may just leave his manifold woes behind in Ferrari in 2018. Mercedes could be there to catch him when he falls.
The German’s promising start at Ferrari ultimately proved to be a letdown for him and for the team. Right now, he is at fifth in the Driver’s Championship behind Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen. He hasn’t made a win to his name this year either. It seems he feels the problem lies with a mismatch between him and the team and is likely to jump ship after his three-year contract ends in 2018. At least, Red Bull boss Christian Horner seems certain of an impending move.
“I can well imagine that in 2018 Seb will switch to Mercedes if he doesn’t start making progress with Ferrari.
“I know from personal experience that he has to feel good in order to perform well. And I’m not sure whether he likes [Ferrari president] Sergio Marchionnne’s pressure.”
It’s true that Seb Vettel will probably never be as hard on himself as Marchionne is on him. And we don’t say that with a critical tone. We really do mean that Marchionne might just want to lay off him a little. Fair enough that he’s asking him to return to the winner’s enclosure as any self-respecting team boss would. But did he really need to call their decade-long title drought a “tragedy”? Seems a bit harsh.
In any case, almost nobody’s position at Ferrari seems to be a sure thing at the moment. Ferrari may have promised to retain Raikkonen into 2017, but after a disappointing result at Silverstone, speculation has been increasing on whose head might be next on the chopping block. Maurizio Arrivabene and technical chief James Allison are likely candidates. In Arrivabene’s words, the team “cannot fail” at the Hungarian GP this weekend. Yikes.