Formula 1 2020: Ferrari pledge full support to outbound Sebastian Vettel after string of disappointing results
Vettel, a four-time world champion, has failed to finish in the top five at any of the five opening races and came home a disappointing 12th, after a mid-race argument with the team, at last Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
Barcelona: Sebastian Vettel will have Ferrari’s full support in his battle to recover his form after a torrid start to the 2020 season – starting with a new chassis for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The team’s sporting director Laurent Mekies said it was Ferrari’s "duty" to give the four-time champion solid backing as he seeks to extract maximum performance from the team’s SF1000 car.
Vettel, a four-time world champion, has failed to finish in the top five at any of the five opening races and came home a disappointing 12th, after a mid-race argument with the team, at last Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone where team-mate Charles Leclerc was fourth.
Leclerc has accumulated 45 points this year compared to Vettel’s 10, a paltry return for a Ferrari driver of such pedigree and experience.
"It’s our duty to try to do anything we can to support him and to make sure that we convert the better car for him into lap time because he’s a massive asset for the team,” said Mekies.
“I think Sebastian is second to none when it comes to fighting spirit and trying everything he can -- and being as constructive as one can in trying to understand how to move the next limit.”
Ferrari head of chassis engineering Simone Resta said the team found a "small fault" in the car he raced last weekend.
It was caused, he said, by a heavy impact over a kerb, but had little effect on the car’s performance.
Before the British Grand Prix Verstappen had won four of the previous five races and had opened up a 32-point lead over Hamilton at the top of the standings.
Lewis Hamilton missed the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain in December after testing positive for Covid-19 and has gone on to win four races this season, including the British GP at Silverstone a fortnight ago.
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Hamilton, who is aiming for his 100th Grand Prix victory and his ninth in Hungary, will be joined on the front row by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas with Verstappen starting third alongside his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.