Sebastian Vettel’s former teammate Mark Webber says the German’s relationship with Ferrari has completely broken down, just one race into his final season with the team.
Vettel finished 10th at last week’s Austrian Grand Prix, his race highlighted by a clumsy attempt to pass the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, who will take his seat in 2021.
That move, labelled “embarrassing” by former world champion Jenson Button, resulted in a spin for Vettel, a continuation of the litany of errors that have plagued the Ferrari driver in recent years.
It followed revelations from Vettel earlier in the weekend that he wasn’t even offered a new contract for 2021, instead being told his services were no longer required.
“The relationship is over,” Webber told the In the Fast Lane podcast.
“The chemistry is gone, the marriage is over.
“Sebastian is dressed in red, he’s driving a red car but he’s there for himself. In some scenarios you’d wish that it could be over now, because that’s pretty much how it’s looking.
“From a dynamic perspective, I think Sebastian was empty after the race.
“I think the Seb scenario, the sooner that’s over, the better for everyone concerned.”
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto revealed last week that the coronavirus pandemic had forced the team to do a U-Turn when it came to Vettel.
Having said during pre-season testing that retaining Vettel for 2021 was a priority, the German was then dumped before the first race of the season.
Initial reports were that the team had offered a one year extension, with Vettel holding out for a longer deal, before confirmation that a new deal was never offered.
“I think it surprised most of us, Sebastian probably the most,” Webber said.
“Even the way he was told, over the phone and not making an effort to get in front of him.
“Clearly that relationship, or the dynamic of how that was going, wasn’t healthy and they thought it was best to not continue. You can’t be half-pregnant with these contracts.
“It’s not like it was a one-year contract, or the stuff the press was trying to talk about that Sebastian was going back to them and wanting a more long-term agreement.
“But that wasn’t even tabled. It wasn’t something Ferrari weren’t even considering.”
Former world champion Jackie Stewart recently told Wide World of Sports that Vettel should retire at the end of 2020, but Webber, who partnered Vettel from 2009-2013 at Red Bull, says there’s still a possibility the German could continue.
“I don’t think it’s over yet,” he said.
“I think he still has a chance to get something in ’22. Who knows, maybe ’21 at Red Bull?
“I think he needs to get the energy and re-invent himself and de-Maranello his mind, in terms of trying to get that energy back.
“It’s just slowly spiralled in a downward cycle with his relationship with Ferrari.
“I think he’s still going to be on the grid in the future, whether it’s ’22 or ’21. I think he’s still got a bit left in him.”