Montoya: Vettel F1 2019 issues more likely technical than mentality

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 F1 2019 issues more likely technical than mentality

Vettel is on a barren streak in F1 and is without a win since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, while his new Ferrari team-mate 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 his crash from the lead of the 2018 German GP, 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 Autosport.

"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 '06, 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 Vettel can still recover, "if he wants to".

"He's going to have to get his head down with the team and work harder than he ever has," said Montoya.

"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."

shares
comments
Williams extends Mercedes F1 engine deal for five years to 2025

Previous article

Williams extends Mercedes F1 engine deal for five years to 2025

Next article

Why Formula 1 needs Haas to succeed

Why Formula 1 needs Haas to succeed
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Diego Mejía
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021