Webber: Vettel is not a ‘great listener’

Date published: December 4 2019

Sebastian Vettel needs to seek advice from others if he hopes to bounce back from his woeful 2019 season, but Mark Webber says he’s not “a great listener”.

Vettel struggled almost from the get-go in this year’s championship, Ferrari issuing team orders at the very first race in Austrlia to keep his new young team-mate behind him.

That, though, didn’t last very long.

With Charles Leclerc determined to prove his worth, the pressure was firmly on Vettel with the German slipping up.

This was most notable in Canada when he lost what would have been his first win of the season when he rejoined the race track in a dangerous manner and forced Lewis Hamilton towards the wall.

Vettel was hit with a five-second penalty that cost him the win, resulting in one of the most memorable – but also petulant – moments of the season as he put the No1 board in front of his own car.

The German would eventually take a first win in Singapore but that was also his only one in a season in which he was beaten by Leclerc in all the stats that matter.

This has led to almost constant rumours that 2019 could yet be Vettel’s last in Formula 1 with Webber acknowledging his former Red Bull team-mate faces a big off-season.

He feels Vettel should speak to others but says he’s unlikely to do so as he is “not a great listener”.

“I think this is the biggest off-season of Sebastian’s career,” the Aussie told Channel 4.

“He’s a winner and a fighter, but a small chink in his armour is that he is not a great listener.

“I think if he needs to seek some advice off people, this is uncharted waters for him because he is coming towards the end of his career, but he needs to seek all the different professional advice that he can from people who might have also been on this journey.

“That way he can understand how to unlock that new phase of passion, energy, that drive to get going.

“He’s got three kids at home now, 22 races coming up next year. I don’t have kids but that will be a real challenge and some of the other guys don’t have that.

“It’s been his worst season [at Ferrari] and he’s got a big, big fight on his hands to come back next year.”

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