Vettel called ‘a failure’ in brutal assessment following retirement

Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season

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Sebastian Vettel’s time at Ferrari has been branded a “failure” after the F1 icon retired from the sport following Sunday’s Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. The German driver, who finished his career with two seasons at Aston Martin, bid farewell amid emotional post-race scenes, where he was caught crying by cameras after delivering a goodbye speech.

During his 17-year career, Vettel undoubtedly cemented his place as an icon of the sport, winning four consecutive drivers’ titles at Red Bull from 2010-2013. After that spell of dominance was ended by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, he then joined Ferrari and was tipped to battle it out with the British driver for more championship glory.

But in his six years with ‘The Scuderia’, he couldn’t bring the success the Italian giants craved. He did finish runner up to Hamilton in both 2017 and 2018, but on both occasions the title was wrapped up before the final race and Vettel’s latter effort received criticism amid a string of perceived driver errors.

His final two years under Mattia Binotto then petered out, and he left the team after a 2020 campaign which yielded a 13th placed finish and just 33 points, his lowest campaign total since 2007. The 35-year-old has since conceded he didn’t scale the heights he targeted at Ferrari.

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Asked if he agreed with that assessment, Team Principal Binotto said: “I think he is right,” via GP Fans. “When he joined Ferrari, his ambition and objective was to win the title with Ferrari and it was our dream and objective as well.

“So it was a failure for him but it was a failure altogether as a team. He was very close, or the closest he was was in 2017 and ’18, so we had a few opportunities but we didn’t get it. I think when your final objective is to do that and when you do not achieve it, it is a failure.”

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Ironically, Vettel may rue not having the car ar Ferrari enjoyed by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz this season. Leclerc in particular, looked the man to beat early on in the year, winning the season opener in Bahrain and then adding another win two races later in Australia.

But the team was plagued by a series of tactical blunders and lack of car reliability. Leclerc did eventually hang on to finish second in the Championship, but his failure to maintain a challenge to Max Verstappen has led to speculation over Binotto’s future.

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