Sebastian Vettel would be fighting for the ‘Vice World Champion’ position if he were driving the Racing Point car, according to his former Toro Rosso boss, Gerhard Berger.
Racing Point are believed to have offered Vettel a contract for the 2021 season and it’s an option the four-time world champion is likely considering given their performance surge this season which has seen them become Mercedes’ closest rival in qualifying trim at least.
However on Sundays Racing Point’s race pace hasn’t quite delivered, with the team yet to score a podium finish, but Berger reckons with Vettel behind the wheel of the RP20, he would be in a position to fight for second in the Drivers’ Championship.
“Nothing against Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, but Sebastian Vettel would be driving to be ‘Vice World Champion’ this season in the ‘second’ Mercedes car,” Berger told F1-Insider, referring to the Racing Point as the ‘second’ Mercedes given its close appearance to last year’s W10.
The Austrian former team boss also reckons Vettel can rediscover his form in a Ferrari that isn’t capable of winning races, because it eases the pressure on his shoulders and says the result in Hungary is proof of that.
“Sebastian seems to be completely free in his head again, as if he wanted to prove to Ferrari that by not extending his contract they have made a huge mistake,” he added.
“With this bad car, he no longer has the pressure to win [races]. In Hungary he was his old self again. [Charles] Leclerc didn’t stand a chance.”
Vettel finished fifth in Hungary with Leclerc 11th, but currently has just half the points of his younger team-mate following Leclerc’s podium in Austria, though the following weekend Leclerc crashed into Vettel, forcing both to retire.