Vettel opens up on ‘toll’ of his time at Ferrari: "It took a while to recover"

Sebastian Vettel has admitted his five-year spell at Ferrari took more of an emotional toll on him than he expected. 
Vettel opens up on ‘toll’ of his time at Ferrari:

After a difficult 2014 campaign following four consecutive F1 world championship triumphs with Red Bull, Vettel joined Ferrari in an attempt to end their long wait for a world title. 

The German claimed 14 victories between 2015 and 2020 but his time with Ferrari is widely considered a failure, particularly given his successive title defeats to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in 2017 and 2018. 

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Speaking on the F1 Beyond The Grid podcast ahead of his F1 retirement at the end of 2022, Vettel opened up about the highs and lows of his Ferrari tenure, and acknowledged the toll he was under. 

“It was a toll as well,” the four-time world champion said. “I mean, I think I never felt that sort of extra pressure being a Ferrari driver. 

“If anything, I felt the extra pressure that I had, an expectation to myself that I want to succeed in this place, and I want to make this thing work.”

Vettel’s endured a mistake-strewn second half of the season in 2018, including crashing out of the lead of his home race in Germany, a high-profile error that dramatically swung the destiny of the championship in Hamilton’s favour. 

Vettel opens up on ‘toll’ of his time at Ferrari:

The German never seemed to fully recover from that campaign and his form drastically nosedived, enabling new teammate Charles Leclerc to beat him in 2019 and 2020, before he left the Scuderia for Aston Martin. 

“There are plenty of reasons why I didn’t, why it might not have worked but, in the end, I think I’m still very happy and at peace with what we achieved,” Vettel added. “But sure, looking back, it probably did take a while to sort of recover. 

“I had a lot of fun. I think I have a very strong emotional connection to Italy, the people of Italy, and to Ferrari as a brand.

“It was a privilege to race for Ferrari and we had great moments together. So lots of memories that I will keep forever and lots of friends that I made. 

“In terms of the numbers and statistics, I failed, because my target was to win the world championship and I didn’t.”

Vettel opens up on ‘toll’ of his time at Ferrari:

But Vettel insists he has no regrets from his time at Ferrari and is “at peace” with the fact he failed to achieve his goals. 

“Ultimately Lewis and Mercedes as a package were too strong for us and we didn’t beat them,” he explained. “But, the more time passes, the more I’m at peace with it if that makes sense.

“Living through the moment, I know that we did great things and that we did things also that weren’t great. In the end, there was somebody else out there that was just better at that time and deserved to win. So we came second a couple of times.

“But [I have] no regrets and lots of things that I learned, and I wouldn’t go back and change anything.”

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