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Vettel told to pull his socks up

NEWS STORY
13/06/2014

Helmut Marko has revealed that he told Sebastian Vettel to "raise his game" following his difficult start to the season.

The no-nonsense Austrian admitted to BBC Sport that he had words with the four-time champion in the aftermath of the Chinese Grand Prix, advising him that he should stop complaining about the new rules, and how they affect the handling of his car, and get on with it.

"I told him, 'there are fifty engineers working on this engine and they can't sort it out,' revealed the Austrian. "'You're a top driver, it's up to you. You have to do it.'

"If he can't sort out the car, the easiest thing is the driver. He has to raise his game."

Having ruled the roost in recent years, Vettel was caught off guard by the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo who was not only clearly unfazed by the prospect of having a four-time champ as teammate but seemed to adapt to the 2014-spec cars from the outset.

Whilst Vettel retired just four laps into the season opener, Ricciardo went on to finish second, though he was subsequently disqualified for "fuel irregularities". Though the German hit back with a podium finish in the next race (Malaysia), a string of strong results, not to mention his maiden win (in Canada) see the popular Australian third in the championship, 19 points clear of his teammate.

"Sebastian was complaining about having such a bad car," Marko continued. "Sebastian wants everything absolutely right. His main problem was the downshift was always destabilising the rear and he couldn't understand that we couldn't solve.

"Furthermore, he thinks the way F1 is going is not the right one, the cars should be monsters, not relatively easy to drive. With all these problems, maybe he wasn't as committed as he should have been, but that has changed. Already in Spain we saw already a different approach from this guy."

Marko also admits that Vettel, like the rest of the team, was caught off-guard by Ricciardo's 'out of the box' pace and competitiveness.

"He was a little bit surprised, like we all were, with Ricciardo" he admitted. "Don't forget we didn't test. We had some outings, one lap or two laps if it was a good day, but no-one could see his potential."

The Austrian also revealed that the team had considered making a move for Lewis Hamilton for 2013.

"We were considering it, but we thought it wouldn't work," Marko admitted. "To be successful, you need a certain amount of harmony."

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by MrShadow, 15/06/2014 16:05

"Ricciardo has spent the last two years driving a car that had trouble handling, so for him these cars are less of an adjustment. As for driveability, I am sure that Vettel like many drivers hates being more busy playing a computer game of settings as actually racing."

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2. Posted by gturner38, 14/06/2014 13:13

"If the cars are relatively easy to drive, why couldn't Vettel figure out how to go fast?"

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