Formula One’s motorsport director Ross Brawn has urged his old team Ferrari against a knee-jerk reaction in response to this year’s title loss.
Although Ferrari is still in the running for the constructors’ title, Sebastian Vettel fell out of mathematical contention for the drivers’ championship at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday. The loss of the drivers’ title came after a series of errors by both Vettel and his Ferrari team this season, which saw him drop in excess of 70 points over the course of the year.
Brawn, who was technical director during Ferrari’s last period of sustained success between 1999 and 2004, has warned his former team not to overreact to the disappointment of missing out on another title.
“Ferrari and Vettel must start over from here, by understanding what went wrong and improving on it, without panic, and without knee-jerk reactions,” he said. “In just two seasons, Ferrari has once more become a contender for titles, something that seemed difficult to imagine at the start of this hybrid era, given Mercedes undoubted power advantage. Now Ferrari has to move forward, without throwing any babies out with the bathwater.
“In the post-race conference, Vettel seemed dejected and I can understand that. When the goal you have been chasing all season is definitively put out of reach there’s a lot to regret if one looks back on previous races, what might have been, and what could have been improved on. These are situations I know well. I’ve experienced them at first hand in the same team as the German.”
In stark contrast, Vettel’s title rival Lewis Hamilton has spent the last 48 hours celebrating his fifth world title. Brawn said the Mercedes driver’s ability to win against the odds reminded him of the only man who still holds more titles and race victories than Hamilton.
“To take the title with two races remaining is very impressive, with Lewis supported by an equally brilliant team. If I had to choose one characteristic that makes Lewis special, it’s his ability to win so many races in which he wasn’t the favourite, as we saw several times this year — in Hockenheim, Budapest and Monza to name but a few. Of course, he also won those in which he was deemed to be the man most likely to win.
“It’s a characteristic he shares with the only driver to have won more titles than him — Michael Schumacher. Lewis was already part of Formula One’s history and now he is truly a legend of the sport. Well done indeed!”