Top talent in Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel went through a stormy development in Formula 1 as a young driver. After the first race for BMW and then the rest of the season for Toro Rosso in 2007, he impressed in 2008 with a victory at Monza. In 2009 he built on that reputation with Red Bull Racing, becoming the youngest ever world champion in 2010.
The German won that title with Red Bull Racing, and three more were to follow. Four world titles and at that time 26 years old, the world was at his feet. During 2014, it became clear that Ferrari would be his next team, and many were convinced that the German could lead Ferrari to a new world title.
Confidence from Ferrari
The story started well, but after a huge mistake during the German Grand Prix in 2018, things went downhill for Vettel. After two chances to compete for the world title in 2017 and 2018, confidence seemed lost on both sides. Vettel lost faith in the car, Ferrari lost faith in Vettel. Charles Leclerc was brought in, who was soon crowned Ferrari's future leader.
What had happened to the four-time world champion? Confidence completely disappeared when he was told over the phone in early 2020 that he would no longer be needed at Ferrari in 2021.
The step to Aston Martin
In 2021, Vettel will join Aston Martin and has been hired as the new leader. It's a role that Vettel likes. He is back in the spotlight and is bombarded with compliments from all sides by people within the team. Vettel is important again after he has been increasingly cornered by Leclerc in recent years.
It is the first step in Vettel's recovery, but certainly not the most important. At Ferrari, Vettel came into the same situation as in 2014 at Red Bull Racing. Where they then pointed to the announced departure to Ferrari as the reason for the disappointing performance of the German, there are similarities with the end at Ferrari.
In both cases, Vettel had a lot of problems with the rear of the car. Where the generation of young talents such as Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris like to play with a restless rear, Vettel struggles. He flourished in the era of the double diffuser at Red Bull Racing, which made sure that his Red Bull barely moved at the rear.
What should the AMR21 Vettel offer?
Since then, Vettel has not been able to do that at Ferrari, but he hopes to do it again at Aston Martin. An advantage: The Aston Martin car is actually a copy of Mercedes, and therefore the most stable car on the grid. If Vettel could regain confidence in a car next to the Mercedes, it is this car.
Vettel takes the lead at Aston Martin and is allowed to take this unique brand to the top. With Ferrari, he got close, but couldn't handle the pressure from Lewis Hamilton. At Aston Martin, Vettel is not directly under pressure to win the title, but he is the man who everything revolves around and he has a stable car. Who knows, this situation may bring out the best in the four-time world champion.
This article was written and originally published by Tim on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.