Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has been told to “stop whining” after a poor debut race with new team Aston Martin.
The German star struggled in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and is dealing with a dramatic slide down the grid since being let go by Ferrari.
Vettel was also beaten by teammate Lance Stroll and carried his Aston Martin across the finish line in P15 after a tough race. He was also eliminated in the first qualifying session.
The 33-year-old said after the race: “I’m not at home in the car.
“There’s a lot of things that are fighting me so that I can’t really focus on driving. We need to address them and try and fix them.”
Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
The negative talk has earned a public scolding from former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who told Vettel to get on with the job this week.
“The whining that he doesn’t feel the car has to stop,” Schumacher told Germany’s Sport1.de.
He said “nobody cares” about Vettel’s complaints.
However, Schumacher does accept that Vettel has legitimate reasons to feel uncomfortable in a new car — especially against Stroll, who has been with the team for several years.
“I’m sorry for Sebastian. This is a huge problem and it will take time,” he said.
“Nobody cares about that, and after all, we’re in Formula 1 here and he’s also earning a lot of money.
“At the end of the day, Sebastian is an experienced racing driver and a multiple world champion. He has to clean up with his teammate now and the rest will come on its own even if the Aston Martin doesn’t turn into a winning car this year.”
Critics have questioned Vettel’s performances this year with former driver David Coulthard saying Stroll may force Vettel out of the team if he proves himself to be the quicker driver — just as Charles Leclerc did at Ferrari in 2020.
Vettel’s former mentor at Red Bull Helmut Marko this week also said Vettel should have taken a year away from Formula this year to make his return when the sport is expected to undergo a significant shake-up with new regulations being introduced for the 2022 season.
“I was of the opinion, I told you that too, that he should take a year off, sort himself out, ask himself what he wants,” Marko said in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.
“I believe that a lot is possible within Formula 1 next year. He didn’t do that. Now he sits in the Aston Martin.”