Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
2 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

Montoya: Vettel's troubles "technical", not mental

Sebastian Vettel’s troubles this year are more likely to be a “technical” problem than an issue with the four-time Formula 1 world champion’s mentality, reckons Juan Pablo Montoya.

Montoya: Vettel's troubles "technical", not mental

Vettel is on a barren streak in F1 and is without a win since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, while his new Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc has now won back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy.

Leclerc’s victory in Ferrari’s home race triggered raucous celebrations at Monza, where Vettel spun out of fourth early on and edged himself close to a race ban for rejoining the track in a “dangerous” way.

The mistake was the latest in a run of errors from Vettel stretching back to the middle of 2018, but seven-time F1 race winner Montoya believes the blame may not lie with Vettel.

“I think he doesn’t like something in the car or this year’s tyres and Leclerc is able to better adapt,” Montoya told Motorsport.com.

“Vettel has to suffer to go as quick as the other guy. Because he has to suffer and he is not comfortable, he makes mistakes. When you’re not happy with the car and you push, mistakes happen.”

“I don’t think it’s a mental thing. It is more a technical one. It’s about understanding, having someone on your side who’s able to find what’s going on.”

Leclerc has generally found Ferrari’s SF90 more compliant, whereas Vettel has often complained this year of not having the right balance in his car.

Montoya compared the situation with his two-year spell with McLaren in 2005 and 2006, when different driving characteristics even led the team to develop a different front suspension for his car in order to better suit his style.

He said he “had to change they way I braked the car and it started doing very different things to what I was used to”, and suspects it might be more effective for something fundamental to change on the car than for Vettel to attempt to adapt around his issues.

“Changing they way you drive is very complicated,” said Montoya. “If you change the way you drive the car you can still be quick, but probably not as quick as you used to be.

“He will have to adapt to a certain extent, but learning to be quick in a different way is very difficult. It’s better to adapt the car to your driving than your style to someone else’s.”

Vettel has a contract with Ferrari that runs to the end of 2020 but his struggles have led to speculation he could try to end that stint early.

However, Montoya believes that Vettel can still recover “if he wants to”, adding: “He’s going to have to get his head down with the team and work harder than he ever has.

“The only way is working harder, doing something different to what he’s doing now. He must be used to working in a certain way, but right now it’s not working out for him.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90

Photo by: Alessio Morgese / Luca Rossini

shares
comments
Pirelli completes first 18-inch tyre test

Previous article

Pirelli completes first 18-inch tyre test

Next article

Gallery: All of Vettel's F1 race wins

Gallery: All of Vettel's F1 race wins
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel , Juan Pablo Montoya
Author Scott Mitchell
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021