Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel should quit Ferrari to rediscover form
Sebastian Vettel's former mentor at Red Bull – where the German won four back-to-back championships – believes he needs to change teams if he's to rediscover his championship-winning form.
Dr Helmut Marko was behind Vettel's rise through junior series to his Formula 1 debut with BMW Sauber and eventual promotion to Red Bull where he dominated the sport between 2010 and 2013.
However since joining Ferrari, Vettel has been unable to match that success and in recent years has become error prone, costing him points, podiums and wins, which has reportedly led to the Italian media turning its back on the 32-year-old in favour of rising star Charles Leclerc, who sits just three points adrift of his team-mate in the standings.
Marko reckons a change of environment is what Vettel needs, but can't see that happening any time soon.
"Sebastian needs to find a different environment, in other words a change of team," he told AutoBild. "But I see no way for that in 2020.
"You make mistakes when you are no longer sure of yourself. That happens in the subconscious mind."
Reigning champion and chief rival Lewis Hamilton has backed Vettel to bounce back, describing him as "one of the greats".
"I absolutely believe he’ll rebound, you look at the greats, and he is one of those," said the Briton last weekend during the British Grand Prix.
"He’s had a difficult race but he’s a four-time World Champion, he will recover, he will come back stronger the next race, and that’s what great athletes do."
But former Ferrari engineer Luca Baldisserri launched a scathing attack on Vettel, insisting he should be demoted to the role of second driver at Ferrari and support Leclerc going forward.
"I think Vettel is an overrated driver and not [Michael] Schumacher’s heir, he has made so many mistakes and must rediscover himself," Baldisserri told Italian sport's podcast Pit-Talk.
"If Leclerc keeps maturing and becomes the top driver, he will still need a team-mate who can support and help him. I believe from that point of view that Vettel has the experience to be a high level team-mate."