While Singapore was a massively disappointing weekend for Ferrari, many believe Sebastian Vettel lost the 2018 world championship at Monza with his first lap attempt to pass Lewis Hamilton which left the Ferraridriver pointing in the wrong direction at the back of the field.
However, his bid for a fifth title was not helped by his unforced error while leading at Hockenheim, or another unnecessary clash in Azerbaijan.
In fact, despite the four titles, the German’s career is littered with such moments, needless errors, moments when he appears to have let the pressure get to him.
Speaking to Auto Bild, the Ferrari driver was asked if he might benefit from the services of a sports psychologist – such as when Romain Grosjean was helped to get through a period which saw the Frenchman involved in too many reckless incidents, culminating in a first lap crash at Spa which almost cost Fernando Alonso his life and which resulted in a one-race ban. Vettel does not agree.
“Of course I have pressure,” admitted the German, “but most of the time I put it on myself. If you know what you can do and you do not achieve it, then you are not satisfied.
“I find the idea very interesting,” he said of a sports psychologist, “but I have not met a person that I think can help. I’ve already researched it a bit, so the whole topic has not passed me by.
“When you have stress, you need to find balance,” he added. “I have developed things that work for me. And I have enough self-discipline, so as not to be confused.”
Asked about increasing criticism of some of his performances, he said: “In my spare time I hardly read articles about Formula One, more about football. I do not let criticism get to me and that saves me dealing with it.
“Generally, my motto is: ‘You’re never as good as people say and you’re never as bad as they say’.”