The German has made some mistakes so far this year, including on Ferrari’s home turf at Monza with a clash against championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel is now 30 points behind the leading Mercedes, albeit with clearly the faster car.
But La Gazzetta dello Sport said Ferrari itself is also bungling its big chance.
“Maranello does everything wrong,” the Italian sports daily declared.
“Lewis Hamilton once again pulled off a masterpiece, expressing talent and determination that no one else can match.”
Corriere dello Sport agrees: “Hamilton is the trump card for Mercedes, whose cars are inferior to Ferrari.
“You not only need to be fast, you need to know how to win.”
La Repubblica said Ferrari “threw away” the Monza win.
And Corriere della Sera said of Vettel: “At Monza he confirmed himself as a driver who knows no compromise — either very strong or very fragile.”
La Stampa said Vettel’s mistakes “could cost him the world title when he has the fastest car”.
“Hamilton is perfect, cold-blooded and cynical when circumstances require,” the newspaper added.
Speed Week quoted 1996 world champion Damon Hill as wondering if Vettel has “cracked under the pressure”.
Former F1 driver Jarno Trulli said: “Sometimes when you’re racing, you do the wrong thing. But the truth is that Vettel has the best car and he’s done it more than once.
“His mistake at Hockenheim was clear, the others are things that can happen but at the moment you cannot keep being wrong with the fastest car.”
2016 world champion Nico Rosberg agrees, telling RTL: “You cannot beat Lewis Hamilton when you make so many mistakes.
“Lewis showed at Monza why he is one of the best — he proves himself in an inferior car,” he added.
Speaking to Bild newspaper, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said of Rosberg’s comments: “He may be right. Ferrari is more used to losing than Mercedes is.”