Anyone in any doubt as to how badly Sebastian Vettel felt following his disastrous Italian Grand Prix, need only to have seen the four-time world champion at the subsequent gathering for the celebratory team photograph, an idea that the Italian team has copied from rivals Mercedes and Red Bull.
Clearly not wanting to be there, but under orders, the German did his best to smile for the cameras, shake hands with a few of the crew and then disappear as quickly, and quietly, as possible.
The unforced spin at Ascari was the latest in a long line of mistakes that stretches back to Hockenheim last year when the German went off in the rain while leading.
At a time the media continues to ramp up the pressure on the German, F1 MD, Ross Brawn, who oversaw all seven of Michael Schumacher’s titles, says Vettel needs the full support of his team.
“Only one man in the Ferrari garage had little to smile about on Sunday,” says the Briton in his summing-up of the race for the official F1 website. “The four-time world champion had a really difficult weekend.
“In qualifying, he felt he’d been let down by his team mate at the end of Q3 and so was unable to take a shot at getting pole. However, what happened in the race was down to him alone. Sebastian made two mistakes on Lap 6, spinning and then hitting Stroll, and the errors look even worse in light of Leclerc’s double victory in Spa and Monza.
“It’s an unavoidable fact that no matter who the driver is, and regardless of how good things are in the team, your first rival is always your team mate,” Brawn continues. “To a certain extent, Sebastian is experiencing what he felt at Red Bull in his final year there, when he found himself up against Daniel Ricciardo, a youngster setting incredible pace.
“Vettel is clearly one of the greats of our sport,” he insists, “you don’t win four titles without being so, but at this tough time he really needs the support of the team to regain the confidence he seems to be lacking at the moment.
“That, as well as pushing on with the car development, has to be a priority for Mattia Binotto in the coming weeks. It won’t be easy, but it is essential, especially in terms of 2020.”