Daniel Ricciardo has backed former teammate Sebastian Vettel to recover from his current slump, saying the four-time Formula 1 world champion is “one race away from turning it around”.

Ferrari driver Vettel has not won a race in more than a year, making a number of high-profile errors in that period. The most recent came at Monza earlier this month when he spun out while running fourth before receiving a penalty for unsafely rejoining the circuit, resigning him to a P13 finish.

Vettel has been passed in the drivers’ standings by Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc - who is only in his second F1 season – after the Monegasque took back-to-back wins in Spa and Monza.

Similarities have been drawn to Vettel’s struggles at Red Bull in 2014 when he was overshadowed by new teammate Ricciardo, who won three races that year.

But the Australian is confident Vettel will recover from his current slump.

“It is, at times, a similar position to maybe where he was in 2014, and I think he bounced back, at the second race in 2015 he won,” Ricciardo said.

“He definitely has the ability to bounce back, and all it is going to take is one race. It probably started - I try not to speak for him - but at least from the outside, it probably started in Canada with the controversy there. It could have been his first win of the year, and if that got done differently, that might have changed the whole outcome of these races. You never know.

“In the past, he’s always been strong here in Singapore, so this could be the weekend for him where he turns it around. I think he’s just one race away from turning it around.

“Obviously there are a lot of things to deal with in this sport, especially when you’re at the top. It’s not just talent any more. It’s pressure, it’s headspace, it’s where you’re at in your personal life and all of this, but you don’t lose your talent.

“Can he still drive very fast? Absolutely. I think he’s just waiting for that weekend to put it altogether and get himself back. It could very well happen this weekend.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...