Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen says Sebastian Vettel needs to "clear his mind" and refocus if he's to claw back the vital points he's dropped to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel went into his home event – the German Grand Prix – leading the standings, but his season has begun to unravel since that race when he crashed out of the lead and he now sits 40 points adrift of Hamilton.
A number of mistakes by both Vettel and Ferrari have been at the centre of the downfall and Häkkinen believes that's led to the German losing faith in his team.
"Ferrari should really be leading this championship, but there have been too many mistakes, and some strange decisions," Häkkinen wrote in his column for Unibet.
"Vettel’s little accident during Friday practice [in Singapore] upset the rhythm at the start of the weekend. They seemed to recover OK. However, this made it even more difficult to understand their decision to take some risks with tyre choice during Q2 in qualifying and that contributed to Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen not having the same build up to the final qualifying runs in Q1.
"Ferrari is making life hard for itself at times.
"The race result was a big disappointment to Ferrari in general, and Vettel in particular. I have seen that he has said he wishes he had Michael Schumacher available to ask for advice, and I can understand why.
"Working very closely with the management and senior technical staff, Michael knew how to help get the most out of the Ferrari team, and it looks like Vettel has lost some faith in the team to provide him with the necessary support.
"Once a driver starts worrying about things outside of the car, it can be a real problem in terms of focus and mindset. If Vettel is to win the World Championship, his mind has to be clear."