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Webber suggests alternative causes of Vettel's 'off-season'

NEWS STORY
07/05/2015

Former teammate Mark Webber has suggested two probable causes of Sebastian Vettel's lacklustre performance in 2014.

Whilst Webber headed off to join Porsche in WEC, his former nemesis was joined by Daniel Ricciardo who had served his F1 apprenticeship with Hispania and Toro Rosso.

Whilst the popular Australian won three races for Red Bull in his maiden season with the Austrian team - the only non-Mercedes driver to stand atop the podium - four-time champ Vettel only managed four trips to the podium, never making it to the top step.

Whilst many suggest the German was one of many unhappy with the cars produced by the new formula, Webber suggests that other outside influences affected him.

"From the outside looking at it I think Michael accident really knocked him round," the Australian told Fox Sports US, referring to Vettel's countryman Michael Schumacher who was seriously injured in a skiing accident in December 2013. "That really hit him, as he's very close with Michael.

"And he had a child," Webber continued, "and all of a sudden maybe lap times were not number-one for the first few months of the year, and then it started to snowball.

"I think the Ferrari thing happened pretty early, and Red Bull were not in a race-winning situation," he suggested, they couldn't win off their own bat, although Daniel and the team did win when they had the opportunity.

"So all these things together, when you've got the trophy cabinet he had... like we'd say in Australia you'd lose a bit of that mongrel! When you mentally check out, when you're leaving a team, it's over.

"We'll only find out further down the line," he admitted, "he'll probably open up a little bit about that year and what was going on."

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1. Posted by BobW, 07/05/2015 13:28

""I think the Ferrari thing happened pretty early, and Red Bull were not in a race-winning situation," ~ Mark Webber

This is something I have said all along. Vettel knew and the team knew he was leaving much earlier than was announced. This in turn would have a big impact to how much of his input would be considered and how much exposure the team would give him to development changes and goals. I think he was basically left to his own devices while Riccardo become the new number 1 and all the improvements suited Daniel."

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