Jean Todt believes a lack of unity at Ferrari has been key to Sebastian Vettel’s failure to emulate Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 achievements and has ultimately led to his impending exit.

Unless Vettel can claim the world championship in his sixth and final season at Ferrari before he departs at the end of 2020, he will have been unable to achieve his dream of emulating his childhood hero Schumacher’s success with the Italian squad.  

The four-time world champion has won 14 races with Ferrari since his arrival in 2015 but has so far been unable to secure a title that has eluded the Scuderia since 2008, having come closest in 2017 and 2018 when he finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton

Current FIA president Todt, who helped spearhead Schumacher’s streak of five successive titles as Ferrari’s team principal, explained why he feels Vettel has been unable to achieve similar levels of success. 

"The result, good or bad, you can always explain it," Todt said in an interview on Sky Sports F1.

"Together with Michael, the whole team at Ferrari, we had so much success because we had a very united, strong team, who were supportive to each other, mainly in the difficult times than in the good times.

"It's easy to be together when all is good, but you see a good sailor in a rough sea. When we were in a rough sea, we were all on the boat, and I think that's what made the difference.”

And with Vettel’s future beyond 2020 the subject of much speculation, Todt says any team would be “very lucky” to sign the German. 

"Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest talents in motorsport," Todt explained. 

"An announcement has been done, but he will not drive for his actual team beyond 2020. There are a lot of other opportunities.

"We can only wish him the best, and I really feel that whoever will take him, will be very lucky.

"He is clearly one of the drivers that with a proper car, he can win championships. When Michael arrived in '96, he only managed to win three races - not because he was not motivated, he simply did not have the car to allow him to be world champion.

"Slowly, we built the car and built the team which made it possible, so it's a combination. You take Lewis Hamilton - if he would not be able to drive a winning car, he could not be world champion.

"You saw that with [Fernando] Alonso, you saw that with Vettel. It's logic."