Former Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine believes that Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel “let himself down” with his antics both inside and outside the car in 2017, although he admitted that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had he better car during the last Formula One season. Seb missed out on the chance to end Ferrari’s ten-year barren run without a drivers’ championship after ultimately yielding to rival Lewis Hamilton, who claimed his fourth title to match Vettel’s tally.
During the 2017 season, the German was criticised for his behaviour following the controversial clash with Hamilton in Azerbaijan and his aggressive defending that led to the first-lap crash in Singapore. Eddie Irvine, a former Scuderia Ferrari driver, reckons the frustration of not adding to his four world championships at Red Bull has got to Vettel mentally.
Asked if Sebastian Vettel had been the better driver than Lewis Hamilton this year but with lesser equipment, Irvine told Motorsport-total.com: “For sure he [Vettel] had lesser equipment. The better driver, I don’t know. Sebastian really let himself down image wise with his antics in the car, out of the car. It is frustrating for him to get four easy world championships at Red Bull, which was by far the best car and he only had to beat Mark Webber. So it was easy to win the championships, now he’s having to work for it. Lewis obviously has now got the best car and he doesn’t have to work so hard. It must be hard for Sebastian to see it going away from him.” – Eddie Irvine concluded, as reported by the British and Italian media.
Eddie Irvine competed in Formula One between 1993 and 2002 and drove for Scuderia Ferrari between 1996 and 1999. His most successful season was in 1999 when he took four victories and challenged McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen for the World Championship.