On the heels of a Formula One season that brought about the end of Sebastian Vettel’s reign at the top of the sport, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has criticized the four-time World Champion for his attitude in 2014.
Vettel’s Red Bull Racing was severely hampered at the start of the year by an unreliable Renault engine, but his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was still able to squeeze out three Grand Prix wins and a third-place finish in the championship.
On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Vettel tumbled to fifth in the standings in a winless campaign and has now jumped to Ferrari, where he’ll look to help the Scuderia find its way again and rebuild his own reputation as one of the best drivers in the world.
Ecclestone has had a good relationship with Vettel over the years. But in his foreword to this year’s F1 season review, the boss doesn’t let that hold him back in his assessment of the German.
“I’m a super supporter of Sebastian, but I’m a little bit disappointed with his attitude, which I think has changed,” Ecclestone writes. “He’s acting like a defeated guy, and he isn’t — that’s not his mentality.”
The British billionaire also adds that he didn’t think that F1 “could have lived with another Red Bull year, any more than we could have lived with another [Michael] Schumacher year” – a reference to the not-too-distant dominant days of the seven-time champion.
Additionally, Ecclestone was thankful for the thrilling title duel this season between Mercedes men Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in that they were allowed to race each other straight-up – admitting that without such a battle, “we would have had a really lousy championship.”
“We’ve been extremely lucky with what happened, these two guys have been racing each other and it’s good that Mercedes has allowed them to do that,” he said on the subject. “…The reason I was originally campaigning for three races with double points was just in case.
“If we hadn’t been lucky with Nico and Lewis racing each other and one of them had got away and been dominant, the season would have been over by Silverstone.”