Formula 1’s head of motorsport and former Ferrari team boss Ross Brawn says he finds it “tough to watch” Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari going through their current “awkward” divorce.
Ferrari announced prior to the start of the delayed 2020 campaign that Vettel would not be staying with the team into the 2021 season.
Matters have been accentuated by the fact Vettel is struggling to get to grips with the SF1000, which has powered team-mate Charles Leclerc to two podium finishes and a points tally of 45. Vettel meanwhile has a best finish of sixth and just 16 points.
“It’s tough to watch Sebastian and Ferrari go through the motions right now, with both sides knowing that the end of their relationship is almost upon them,” said Brawn.
“They are in that period of a divorce where the papers have been served, but the divorce hasn’t gone through. It’s very awkward.”
Brawn suggests the fact Vettel knows the team isn’t fully behind him this year could be playing a part in his struggles.
“The chemistry between a driver and their team is so important. You’re part of a team and you succeed as a team, and fail as a team. Managing that dynamic is always a challenge.
“When a driver has been told he is no longer needed, it’s one of the most difficult times for a team. He knows you no longer want him and the cracks appear quickly. It is up to the team to manage it as best they can. From my own painful experience, I know drivers in this situation can be a handful.”
Lewis Hamilton, a long-term rival of Vettel’s, made similar remarks last week, when he commended the 33-year-old for “showing great character” given the circumstances.
“It can never be a great feeling to be told that you’re not wanted and to continue within the team, especially when you join a team and you’re in a team, you give your all, you give your heart.
“But I think the way he’s pushing, the way he’s continuing to try and help the team just shows the great character he has and his commitment to racing.”