Belfast Telegraph

Vettel just not having a good time at Ferrari, says Rosberg

 

Real struggle: Sebastien Vettel is 100 points off the title pace
Real struggle: Sebastien Vettel is 100 points off the title pace

By Philip Duncan

Former world champion Nico Rosberg believes Sebastian Vettel is struggling to enjoy life at Ferrari.

The four-time world champion heads into his home race at Hockenheim tomorrow already a staggering 100 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the standings.

It is approaching a year since Vettel (32) last celebrated a win. His No.1 status at Ferrari is being challenged by young Charles Leclerc in the sister car and a fortnight ago at Silverstone, Vettel finished 16th after he crashed into the back of Max Verstappen, the latest in a long line of mistakes.

Ferrari's form in pre-season testing suggested Vettel would have the machinery to end the Italian team's 12-year Championship drought, but so concerning is the German's form that there are question marks as to whether he will even see out his contract, which expires next season.

"Sebastian is having a rough season," Rosberg said. "You start the year expecting to be the world champion and when things go wrong it is really tough.

"Being a Ferrari driver is the ultimate pressure. You have the whole of Italy on your back. It must be difficult to enjoy.

"F1 affects your mum, dad, and wife. That is why it is so intense. The suffering and the joy goes to your home, and it never stops.

"Now there is huge pressure from Leclerc too, a young guy driving so well. Verstappen is in front of both Ferrari drivers in the Championship. Can you believe that?

"We know that Seb is one of the best if he drives the way he can. I hope he finds his way because that is what he needs right now."

Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two as Pierre Gasly's difficult season continued with a big crash in second practice yesterday.

Gasly lost control at the last corner and smashed into the barrier on the outside of the track, badly damaging his Red Bull. The Frenchman was unhurt.

Leclerc was 0.124 seconds quicker than Vettel and 0.146 seconds ahead of Mercedes' Hamilton on a hot day.

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