Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn believes Sebastian Vettel’s mistakes can no longer be viewed as coincidence and instead highlights that the Ferrari driver is “a bit out of sorts”.

Vettel’s fading championship hopes took another blow at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix as he spun while attempting to overtake Daniel Ricciardo in a first-lap move, forcing him into another recovery drive through the field.

It followed a similar incident with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Japan and marked the latest in a series of high-profile mistakes that have marred the Ferrari driver’s campaign.



Other notable errors include clashing with Mercedes pair Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at the start in France and Italy respectively, while he also crashed while leading the German Grand Prix.

The incidents have enabled Hamilton to move on the verge of sealing a fifth world title and Brawn said Vettel has now become “no stranger to mistakes”.

"On Friday there was a small one, when he failed to slow sufficiently for red flags, and he paid the price with a three-place penalty," he added.

"Then, in the race, he yet again collided with a Red Bull, this time Ricciardo's, and once again Vettel came off worst.

"It was another lost opportunity to close the gap in the title fight, especially when we saw what [Kimi] Raikkonen did with the same car.

"I certainly don't want to put Vettel in the dock, but these incidents can no longer be seen as coincidence.

“Rather they would seem to indicate that Sebastian is a bit out of sorts at the moment."

Vettel had led the championship for much of the opening half of the season but has taken just one victory in the last eight races. He must win in this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix to keep alive his slim title chances.

Brawn, who was a key figure in Ferrari’s successful dominance of the sport with Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s, feels this year has proven to be a missed opportunity for the Scuderia.

"Now, any hope of bringing the drivers' title back to Maranello is dwindling and the time has come to do the maths," Brawn explained.

"Their most important task is to work out how to help Vettel make the most of his massive talent.

"You don't become a four-time world champion for no reason and Sebastian has definitely not forgotten how to win.

"In a sport as complicated as Formula 1, you only reach your goals if all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place.

"If just one piece is missing everything is compromised."


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