Ferrari ask Sebastian Vettel to keep emotions in check

By @saihoops on
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Japanese Grand Prix
Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix 2017 - Suzuka Circuit, Japan - October 7, 2017. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany reacts on finishing third after qualifying. Reuters / Toru Hanai

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has asked Sebastian Vettel to keep his emotions under control entering the new season after a tumultuous year that saw the German driver repeatedly penalised for violating FIA regulations. Marchionne believes Vettel has learned "to control his emotional side" and will avoid past mistakes.

After a disappointing start to his Ferrari career, Vettel, the former four-time World Champion, enjoyed his first title contending season with the Scuderia before his campaign was marred by engine failures, crucial mistakes and misfortune. At the halfway mark of the 2017 Formula One season, Vettel was the clear frontrunner to win his fifth world title before Mercedes F1 and Lewis Hamilton turned the tide.

Vettel and Hamilton were involved in a scary incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June for which the Ferrari driver was handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty (at the Singapore GP). After the eventful race, Hamilton accused Vettel of deliberately crashing the rear end of his car while the safety car was out. Many analysts believe Vettel's penalty swung the world title race in Hamilton's favour. 

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari ready for turnaround season

Marchionne believes Vettel, who recently signed a three-year extension with Ferrari, will avoid repeating past mistakes during the 2018 Formula One season.

“Sebastian Vettel is a guy who studies a lot, studies himself and is committed. Therefore, I think that we will see less of his emotional side. I think he has learned enough. Plus, there were plenty of opportunities for him to get annoyed, as he’s had a couple of rather difficult seasons, this year and the previous one. I think we gave them a great car in 2017 and so, from now on, it’s down to him," Marchionne said on Tuesday during the annual media Christmas lunch, via Sky Sports F1.

The Ferrari boss also defended the team's decision to retain Kimi Raikkonen. The 38-year-old Finn hasn't won a solitary race since re-joining the team in 2014.

“I believe he is really great, truly talented and I have never doubted his abilities. I tell you, he’s a really top guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken pole at a track like Monaco. I think Maurizio (Arrivabene, Ferrari team boss) has done a great job with the drivers and that’s not an easy task.”

The 2018 Formula One season gets underway at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit with the Australian Grand Prix on March 25. Scuderia Ferrari, the oldest engine manufacturer in Formula One history, will launch its brand new car on Feb. 22, four days ahead of the first pre-season test in Barcelona.