Formula 1’s director of motorsports and former Scuderia Ferrari-technician Ross Brawn pointed out the fact that Sebastian Vettel can’t be a passenger when it comes to the Maranello team’s technical decision-making, as he explained how involved Michael Schumacher was in that field. In the latter stages of the season, some upgrades from Ferrari actually ended up backfiring and making the team worse, with their title rivals Mercedes taking a commanding lead in both championships at that point and never looking back.
In Singapore, an upgrade was introduced but it made Ferrari significantly slower. This problem remained for three races, with Lewis Hamilton all three of those races in Singapore, Russia and Japan. Once the car was turned back to the old spec, Kimi Raikkonen won in the United States.
“Seb had a mixed 2018,” Ross Brawn said on the Formula 1’s website – “They had a strong year but they have got to make that next step and deliver – and that’s Seb and the team. I don’t know the dynamic or chemistry in the team or Seb’s relationship in the team or how that all works. He made one or two errors, which is unfortunate but with drivers, that can happen. The team seemed to make a wrong turn technically for several races and then they came back again to an older spec which corrected their form. As a driver, you have to be involved with those things, you can’t be a neutral passenger. I recall when I was at Ferrari, if we had something we were uncertain about, Michael would be banging my door down to talk about it and spend time with the engineers and work until he got himself comfortable with what was going on. That motivates a team and can be a catalyst for people to look at things in a different way or different perspective. The difference between success and failure is often down to small things. I don’t think he or the team need to change things dramatically, they just need that final bit of polish to get off the line.” – F1’s director of motorsports concluded.