Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel is someone with a lot of pedigree in the sport. He may not have been at the top of his game in recent years, but great things were once expected of him.
His time at Red Bull was so illustrious that there were even suggestions that he would soon eclipse Michael Schumacher’s record of seven championship wins.
However, Vettel remains on four world titles since then and his career has certainly not touched the lofty heights that were once being speculated.
His presence on the circuit only diminished during his time at Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, meanwhile, added a number of titles to his tally. He sits tied with Schumacher on seven titles and is looking to add number 8 this year.
Now, a claim has been made to suggest that things went south for Vettel as a result of Ricciardo’s promotion to Red Bull from Toro Rosso when Mark Webber retired.
Ricciardo proved his worth right from the beginning and was unlucky not to finish second in his debut race in Australia.
In their only season together at Red Bull, Ricciardo blasted past the German and eventually accrued 71 more points.
Former F1 driver Gerhard Berger believes that Vettel has always been weak mentally and showed signs of crumbling from a young age.
“He never reacted well under pressure,” Berger said.
“Remember when Daniel came to Red Bull, (he) was very strong and he put pressure on Sebastian? For Sebastian it was difficult to cope with it. In Ferrari it was the same thing.
“I just feel when you watch him, you feel he’s not free. He’s not relaxed enough. He’s trying to prove things that, at this moment, aren’t possible because the car isn’t good enough or his own form isn’t good enough.
“In some way it just doesn’t work out well for him. He starts to make mistakes and people start to question him.
“That’s just step-by-step more pressure, and, as I said at the beginning, he doesn’t like pressure.”
Do you believe things could have panned out differently for Vettel had Ricciardo not replaced Webber? Let us know in the comments section below!