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Vettel: It's the car, not the man, says Montoya

NEWS STORY
14/09/2019

Seven-time GP winner, two-time Indy 500 winner, CART and F3000 champion, Juan Pablo Montoya, believes it is issues with the SF90, not the driver's mentality,. that is causing Sebastian Vettel to continue making unforced errors.

For the second successive year, the German's race at Ferrari's home track was compromised by an unforced error.

Last year he damaged his front wing following an unsuccessful attempt to pass Lewis Hamilton at the second chicane, while last week he spun at Ascari and in a woeful attempt to rejoin the track was hit by Lance Stroll, once again causing damage to the Ferrari.

Even before Monza, the media was on Vettel's back, calling for Charles Leclerc, who went on to win the Italian Grand Prix, to be given number one status, citing the youngster's improving form and his teammate's continuing mistakes.

However, while some question whether the German might benefit from a sports psychologist, Montoya believes it is the SF90 that is at the heart of Vettel's problems.

"I think he doesn't like something in the car or this year's tyres and Leclerc is able to better adapt," the Colombian told Motorsport.com.

"Vettel has to suffer to go as quick as the other guy," he continued, "and because he has to suffer and he is not comfortable, he makes mistakes.

"When you're not happy with the car and you push, mistakes happen," he added. "I don't think it's a mental thing. It is more a technical one. It's about understanding, having someone on your side who's able to find what's going on."

The Colombian cited his time at McLaren, when the Woking team had to develop a front suspension purely to cater to his style of driving.

"I had to change the way I braked the car and it started doing very different things to what I was used to," he admitted.

"Changing the way you drive is very complicated," he continued. "If you change the way you drive the car you can still be quick, but probably not as quick as you used to be.

"He will have to adapt to a certain extent, but learning to be quick in a different way is very difficult. It's better to adapt the car to your driving than your style to someone else's."

However, the Colombian, who, ironically, is currently driver coash to Stroll insists all is not lost.

"He's going to have to get his head down with the team and work harder than he ever has," he said. "The only way is working harder, doing something different to what he's doing now. He must be used to working in a certain way, but right now it's not working out for him."

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