Sebastian’s career Vettel at Ferrari it was marked by many ups and downs. But if there was a turning point in his path in the red, that would be it Hockenheim 2018. Exactly three years have passed since that race.
Marko: “Vettel problems started at Hockenheim 2018”
In fact, it was 22 July 2018. Vettel approached the Hockenheim weekend as championship leader (171 to 163 over Lewis Hamilton). He had won four of the 12 Grands Prix disputed, but had already stained his path with some serious mistakes such as the accident at the start of the French Grand Prix. The four-time world champion hit pole position beating Valtteri Bottas by two tenths. And above all he had the great opportunity to stretch in the league, because Hamilton started from 14th position. In short, the weekend had definitely taken the direction desired by Maranello, and up to 15 laps from the end everything was set for a red triumph, with Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and the two Mercedes, with Hamilton protagonist of a great comeback, with an impeccable driving in all conditions.
The race was characterized by a dancing weather. And the climatic conditions decided the Grand Prix and the course of the season. Because while Vettel was in charge, a not pouring but mocking rain became there perfect trap for German. Who, with slick tires no longer very fresh, crashed into the wall of Turn 13 after losing control of his SF71H.
– Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@ MercedesAMGF1) July 22, 2021
A driving mistake that deeply affected the fate of that World Cup. Why opened the doors to the Mercedes shotgun, with Hamilton winning and flying to the top of the standings (from a potential -18 to an unexpected +17). This is due not only to his driving skills in all conditions, but also to his luck in the timing of the tire change and in the rival’s error. Rival who never recovered. Vettel won only in Belgium, in the remaining eight races he went to the podium four times. A roadmap with which it was impossible to attack Hamilton, who in fact won the championship with an 88 point advantage, and the son of mistakes (Monza, Japan, United States), wrong calculations (Singapore) e superiority of others (Russia). There, at Hockenheim, part of the relationship with the fans, and perhaps with the team, broke down. From that moment on, the relationship between Vettel and the Ferrari world was never the same.