Christian Horner witnessed the brilliance of quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel first hand as his Milton Keynes based team romped to four consecutive championships with the German driver leading the way. “
I have a feeling that Seb is a bit rattled,” Horner tells German newspaper Sports Bild today.
“I know from personal experience that he has to feel good in order to perform well. And I’m not sure whether he likes the current pressure from Sergio Marchionne (Ferrari president).
“I can well imagine in 2018 Seb will switch to Mercedes, if he doesn’t start making progress with Ferrari,” Horner added.
The Italian team are currently under attack from their own media for a year that promised so much, but has so far delivered very little. The Red Team’s season will indubitably have many more twists and turns and reports continue in the Italian media that James Allison will leave the squad imminently.
How affected is Sebastian from all this?
Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger doesn’t appear to believe Vettel will be too concerned yet. “I know him from his Red Bull days,” the former Toro Rosso co-owner tells Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, “and he is a true leader. He never loses heart.”
Of course we should note, Berger is currently managing Nico Rosberg’s contract negotiations with Mercedes.
Further, many F1 observers believe Vettel has demonstrated he can ‘lose heart’, as evidenced by the results of his 2014 season.
Following the third qualifying defeat to his team mate at the first three races in 2014, Vettel remarked: “I don’t want to blame anything on the car, but there are a lot of things that have changed, I don’t need to tell you. The cars are very different, everything underneath the body is very, very different, so I think there is a lot of work to be done to get it back to where I want it.”
This of course never happened and the embarrassment of being beaten by his team mate, surely led to Vettel exiting for Ferrari the following year.
The pull for Daimler Benz of having two world class German drivers in Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel in their F1 team is obvious, though Lewis Hamilton’s contract as reported prima facie, runs to the end of 2018.