Replacing Sergio Perez at Racing Point, Martin Brundle says Sebastian Vettel needs to up his game to avoid “potentially unfavourable comparisons”.
Vettel’s final season with Ferrari is not panning out as the German had hoped.
With 18 points in 12 races, he is 57 points behind his team-mate Charles Leclerc and showing no signs of fighting back.
He’s also trailing Perez by 56 points, the driver he is replacing at Racing Point next season.
Although Perez had thought he had a air-tight contract in place for 2021, team owner Lawrence Stroll paid him off, instead wanting Vettel in the car.
However, the four-time World Champion’s form isn’t exactly showing the world that he deserves the race seat ahead of Perez.
The Mexican driver was voted ‘Driver of the Day’ for the Portuguese Grand Prix as he fought back from early lap 1 contact to finish seventh.
Vettel could manage a single point in 10th place with his team-mate Leclerc showing what the car is capable of with a P4 result.
Brundle says Vettel needs to up his game.
He wrote in his Sky Sports column: “Charles Leclerc was outstanding for Ferrari yet again, bringing his steed home in fourth, albeit 65 seconds behind Hamilton.
“Ferrari are definitely regaining some ground although Seb Vettel could only muster a lapped 10th.
“He must be counting down the days now before heading to new pastures, but he’ll have to do a much better job than this to prevent the inevitable and potentially unfavourable comparison with the on-form Perez who he is replacing.”
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There is, however, a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
In the midst of reports claiming that the 2020 Ferrari has been designed with Leclerc in mind with a lose rear end, something that doesn’t suit Vettel’s style, Brundle says next year’s Racing Point will the right car for the four-time World Champion.
He added: “The Racing Point/Aston Martin (heavily Mercedes influenced) car should suit him better though.”
As yet Perez is still to finalise his 2021 plans with reports linking him to Williams, although George Russell reckons that’s just a rumour to put pressure on Red Bull to sign the Mexican driver sooner rather than later.
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