“Something Else” Behind Sebastian Vettel’s F1 Struggles : Racing Point




It will feel like the dawn of a new era when Sebastian Vettel eventually moves to Aston Martin in 2021. Currently named Racing Point, the team is equally excited to welcome a champion in their midst.

The announcement of the move garnered a lot of attention, and rightly so. It is, on the face of it, something different, with both parties sharing the same ambition– to succeed in F1.

Of late, fans and pundits of the sport have been critical of Sebastian Vettel’s performance. The Eifel Grand Prix saw him finish right outside the points tally, an outing that sparked the debate over his prowess yet again.

Sebastian Vettel has not forgotten how to drive an F1 car

That is exactly what Racing Point Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer believes. Having led his team to some impressive results, he expects the car and the team to only get better with Vettel’s addition.

In conversation with F1-Insider, he is quoted as saying, “Because I believe that a 33-year-old driver doesn’t forget how to drive a Formula 1 car overnight. It must be something else.” (translated from Google Translate)

Sebastian Vettel at the Nurburgring circuit
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel arrives at the circuit wearing a protective face mask ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

It is not a secret that Ferrari’s sharp decline over the past year has contributed to Vettel’s misfortunes as well. Regardless, the transfer will give a chance for everyone involved to move onto better things.

Racing Point can convert chances into wins with Vettel

From both an observational and statistical standpoint, Racing Point have the third-fastest car behind Mercedes and Red Bull. That logically correlates to their position on the standing, third with 120 points.

However, Szafnauer believes that Racing Point could take the next step in their ambitions for 2021. And that includes taking the opportunities to win podiums and possibly, races.

Nico Hulkenberg during Eifel GP qualifying
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg in action during qualifying. Pool via REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

“We currently have the third fastest car. And that will create opportunities in a long season – just like Gasly won in an Alpha Tauri this year.

“I’m looking forward to these opportunities and then we have to be there and strike. A Sebastian Vettel with his nose for racing situations will also help there.” (translated from Google Translate)

It pretty much seems like the team is on the rise with its current results and momentum. However, it will be fascinating to see how they channel this energy as they dive headfirst into the 2021 season.