Newey: “Damn hard” for Vettel to win 2018 title

Following his error in Italy, it was hoped that a bravura performance in Singapore would not only see Sebastian Vettel close the gap to Lewis Hamilton but find redemption. It was not to be.

Instead, courtesy of Ferrari‘s strategic gamble, a somewhat half-hearted performance from the German and Lewis Hamilton being on arguably his best form ever, the Briton’s championship lead was extended.

Adrian Newey, who worked with Vettel during his golden era at Red Bull, scoring four successive titles, though a fan of the German, admits he makes mistakes under pressure and is doubtful he can mount a meaningful fight back in the remaining races.

“He works incredibly hard and is sometimes too dogged,” the Briton told Bild am Sonntag, hardly anyone is more self-critical than he is.

“If he has a weakness, it’s that sometimes he makes stupid mistakes that happen in the heat of the moment,” added the design guru. “If he leads a race, he is almost unbeatable, but in direct duels he sometimes slips up.

“In sports, but also in life, people deal differently with pressure,” said Newey. “For a racing driver this can be particularly difficult. In the car, he is not only responsible for himself, but he has the entire team in the garage on his shoulders. Some drivers do not care; take the Finns Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen, for example. But then there are also drivers who, just at the end of a season, when it comes to the world championship, feel the pressure weighing down on them. The harder a driver works, the more he feels the pressure.

“If he’s going to manage it, he needs at least one retirement from Lewis. Otherwise it will be damn hard,” admitted the Briton.