Scuderia Ferrari’s continuous struggles to develop a competitive car did not help Sebastian Vettel’s performance during the last Formula One season, as the German world champion finished the year without a win and on more than one occasion expressed his frustration and discontent, with several angry messages over the radio. However, Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group, has recently jumped to the defence of Sebastian Vettel, amid criticism of the Ferrari driver’s performance and frustration in 2016, as well as his reactions over the radio, which were intensely discussed.
“It’s not his fault that he is not winning.” the president and CEO of Formula One Management told German weekly sports magazine Sport Bild, referring to the Scuderia Ferrari driver – “It is only about the level of the car and the team.” – Ecclestone insisted – “Unfortunately the truth is that Ferrari has fallen back into the time before Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt and in my opinion there are too many Italians working there. Don’t get me wrong, nothing against Italy, but running a team successfully is not in their DNA. Ferrari needs fresh blood. I am sure that Sebastian is doing everything humanly possible to succeed.” – Ecclestone said.
F1 boss also denied rumors that the German driver hopes to get a place in the Mercedes team at the end of next season: “Sebastian’s mission is called Ferrari, because I know that he wants to succeed there first”. That being said, Bernie Ecclestone is not confident that Scuderia Ferrari will be able to put an end to Mercedes’ dominance in 2017: “No, to be honest I don’t think so.” Ecclestone said. “Their engine will still be the best and of course this will give them a huge advantage again. I think that we can see a more balanced competition only with some new engine regulations, so we need to do that as soon as possible.”