Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has revealed Sebastian Vettel grew disillusioned with Formula One and even considered quitting the sport after struggling to get to grips with the new regulations introduced in 2014.

The four-time world champion suffered a difficult season last year, failing to win a single race and eventually finishing fifth in the championship. The German's frustrations were compounded when his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo won three Grand Prixs on his way to third place in the drivers' standing.

"Seb didn't enjoy the regulation changes," Horner said to the Guardian. "He didn't enjoy the new engine, the feel from the new system, the power unit, the brake by wire, the lack of downforce. You could tell he wasn't happy. He was preoccupied and to compound that his team-mate [Daniel Ricciardo] won three races. There was that feeling 'am I enjoying this as much as I thought I was?'"

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Vettel has made the switch to Ferrari for the upcoming season, ending a six-year relationship with Horner and Red Bull. The 27-year-old made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso in 2007 and won his first F1 race a season later at the Italian Grand Prix before moving up to Red Bull, where he won four world titles.

Horner also said Vettel had thoughts of quitting F1 entirely and pursuing new ambitions during his tricky 2014 campaign.

"It was like someone had taken his toy away. It took him a while to get to grips with that," Horner added. "It was not something he was used to. He went through a period of disillusionment about the direction Formula One was going in. There was a stage last year when he thought whether he wanted to stop or not, whether he was getting the same level of enjoyment or not and whether or not he wanted to continue.

"His previous four years had been so successful for him in a car he loved driving - and then suddenly things were very different. It raised some questions he had to deal with.

"He went back to basics and drove a kart in the middle of the year to get back to the bare essence of why he was a Grand Prix driver and rediscovered his passion."

The Red Bull boss confirmed there are no hard feelings between the team and the driver and doesn't blame Vettel for moving on in the search for a fresh challenge.

"His boyhood hero was Michael Schumacher and of course there was the lure of Ferrari. For any driver - the brand, the history, the mystique, is immensely powerful. I think Sebastian felt the timing was right in his career. He needed that stimulus of a new challenge."


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MrJones85: I'm new to this site but, what I've seen so far is there are a lot of Sebastian Vettel apologists. I'm not sure if Horner has an Ax to grind with Vettel. But, when an athlete wants to quit it shows a lack of character. Especially, for someone so young. In motor sports you have to learn to take the good with the bad.[\blockquote]

just wait for an Hamilton or Button article ... the all their fans will pop up..
i tell you .. "seb appologists" are mostly defending seldom offending ..
just wait for Ham fans ...

.. i think a four time WDC is allowed to think about quitting .. has gotten a father of a daughter.. has broken quite a few records ...