Theissen regrets overloading Vettel

BMW-Sauber have admitted that they probably made a mistake in pushing Sebastian Vettel to finish the Formula One season for them this year

Theissen regrets overloading Vettel

Vettel starred in his role as Friday driver for BMW-Sauber from the Turkish Grand Prix, and his performances were so impressive that the team decided to keep him on for the remainder of the season.

That decision meant Vettel was forced to undertake a punishing end to the year because as well as the long-haul Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Grands Prix, he was forced to fly back to Europe several times for his Formula Three Euro Series campaign.

With Vettel's title charge falling apart in the final races of the year to hand the crown to ASM teammate Paul di Resta, BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has confessed that it was probably wrong of the team to give Vettel so much F1 responsibility.

"I am a bit concerned about the situation," he told autosport.com. "In my view, it was a bit too much for him in the past eight to 10 weeks. Doing F1, doing F3, doing all these obligations and also meeting obligations beyond the track, especially which were new for him, meant he is a bit exhausted now. I think he needs a break."

Theissen, who has been a big supporter of Vettel for several years, goes as far as suggesting that the young German's failure to win the F3 title was directly related to his F1 responsibilities.

"Yes, I think so," he said. "He would never admit that, and certainly when he is in the car he doesn't feel that. But there is a certain amount of work that you can do and if you go beyond that then quality will suffer."

The experience of this season has also probably played a key factor in the decision to race Vettel in the Renault World Series next season, which features just nine events. It would have been very difficult for Vettel to have competed in both GP2 and F1 practice at Grands Prix meetings next season.

Although Vettel is already a firm favourite to be promoted to a race seat at BMW-Sauber in 2008, Theissen insists that such a decision is still far from being made.

"It is too early to say," he said. "Obviously if we put a driver in the car as a test driver, we always have the idea of having him as a race driver. But if it happens in 2008 I cannot say that."

shares
comments
Imola targets 2008 F1 return

Previous article

Imola targets 2008 F1 return

Next article

Toyota, Bridgestone in winter testing row

Toyota, Bridgestone in winter testing row
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

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…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

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 car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing 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