Image: AP Images

Helmut Marko, the guy who gave Sebastian Vettel his first job in Formula One driving for Red Bull, told German magazine Auto Bild that the German World Champion needs to consider leaving Ferrari in order to become successful again in the sport. Marko believes that Vettel has lost his groove, needs to find it again with a new team. Like Red Bull.

Vettel, a four-time champion with Red Bull, moved to the Ferrari team in 2015. Following the move, his win percentage dropped sharply, and he has failed to deliver in key races. While his Scuderia Ferrari cars haven’t been quite up to Mercedes spec in recent years, he’s still managed to remain a contender.

For the 2019 season, however, things seem to have gotten much worse for Vettel. He’s remained winless since Spa 2018, which was nearly a year ago, and he’s been outshone by his young teammate in the incredible Charles Leclerc. That’s bound to get under the skin of even the toughest competitor, whom Marko says Vettel is not.

“Sebastian would have to get a different environment, ie. change the team,” Marko told Auto Bild, “But I see no way for 2020. You make mistakes when you are no longer sure of your cause. That happens in the subconscious.”

Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley had this to say of Vettel: “He’s not such a tough guy like Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso, who were always able to perform. Sebastian is a driver who has to feel unconditional support. He had that with Red Bull. And he probably doesn’t have it at Ferrari.”

Max Verstappen, the guy who replaced Vettel as Red Bull’s #1 driver and certified douche, had this to say, “You do not forget how to drive. So why does this stuff keep happening to him over and over again at Ferrari?

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Following the bone-headed move by Vettel at the British Grand Prix last weekend, even the Ferrari-loving Italian media has turned on him. Marko is right, Seb does seem to be lacking in confidence in the car and out of it. Maybe he needs a fresh start, or perhaps could be mulling retirement. Is this Marko’s way of telling Sebastian he’s welcome back at RB (or Toro Rosso?) when he’s ready to make that change?

The regular season isn’t even over, and the silly season has already begun.