He was quite astonishingly voted ‘driver of the day’ by F1 fans on Sunday, but Sebastian Vettel has been picked apart by Italian media for trashing his race at the first corner in France.
The Ferrari driver was leading the world championship, albeit by a single point, before the French Grand Prix but left Paul Ricard with a 14-point deficit to arch-rival Lewis Hamilton.
A critical Italian press went straight for the German driver’s jugular on Monday.
“Vettel committed an amateur error and this time the consequences are serious,” wrote La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Despite its excellent car, for Ferrari it is once again a wasted opportunity.”
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La Repubblica added: “Vettel makes mistakes that he cannot afford if he wants to win another world title.”
And an article at La Stampa read: “It was a great catch up drive, but also ten wasted points because of too much impulsiveness.”
Even former Scuderia stalwart Fernando Alonso chimed in on Vettel’s errors.
“In the first lap and playing for the world championship, he ran quite a risk,” said the Spaniard.
“It worked out ok for him but in the future it will not go so well,” he said.
Looking back, last Sunday’s blunder was Vettel’s fifth major mishap in the past 12 months, with costly errors produced at Baku, Singapore, Mexico, Baku 2018 and France.
That’s an unenviable track record compared to Lewis Hamilton’s own clean summary, and perhaps why the Mercedes driver remains the outright favourite to clinch that all-important fifth title.
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