Apr.1 (GMM) Huge pressure is back on the shoulders of Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari granted the German full number 1 status for 2019, but it was new teammate Charles Leclerc setting the pace all weekend in Bahrain.
And then Vettel spun in the race.
“It’s the same Sebastian as last year,” 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg told Sky Deutschland.
“You don’t become world champion like that,” he added.
In contrast, Rosberg said Leclerc – who would have won from pole if not for an engine problem – was “perfect” throughout the weekend.
Vettel admitted he was to blame for the spin.
“I was surprised, but it was my fault,” he said.
For now, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto is fully supportive of Vettel even after the big mistake. “These are things that can happen when you fight,” said the Italian.
But the criticism from the Italian press will be scathing.
“For sure the biggest theme will be Leclerc’s misfortune, but Vettel was pretty lame,” former F1 driver JJ Lehto told Iltalehti newspaper.
“Vettel has to do a little work to regain the faith,” the Finn added.
Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, said after Bahrain: “Once again, Vettel collapsed under pressure.
“The true champion in the ‘box rossi’ (red pits) looked like the little guy from Monte Carlo,” added correspondent Luca Budel.