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Vettel would have been F1 champion with more Ferrari support

Written by  Dec 04, 2018

Sebastian Vettel would have been world champion if he had the same support from Ferrari as Lewis Hamilton did from Mercedes.

That is the claim from former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone as he reflected on another year of close but not close enough for his good friend.

After a strong start to the year that saw the German leading the championship at the halfway point, the season fizzled out from Monza onwards through what many considered as a combination of errors by both driver and team.

Ecclestone, however, disagreed: “Lewis Hamilton is a deserved 2018 F1 champion and Vettel an undeserved second in the championship,” the Briton told Auto Bild.

“Lewis was outstanding this year but he also had the full support of the team. You can’t say that for Sebastian."

Bernie, who now holds the title of chairman emeritus in F1 after being displaced by Chase Carey at the start of 2017, also believes a sad event in July proved the deciding factor.

“After [Sergio] Marchionne’s death, a strong hand was missing and there was more chaos than structure," he claimed.

“From the outside, you had the impression that Ferrari did more for Kimi [Raikkonen] than for Sebastian.

“Sebastian is a victim, not the culprit," Ecclestone stated. "If Vettel had the same support like Lewis, Vettel would have also become champion this year.

“A team needs to strengthen their star driver not weaken him.”

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Another key figure who believes the sudden death of the former Ferrari chairman played a significant role in the team's dip was former team boss turned FIA president Jean Todt.

"Talking about Ferrari I would like to have a word about Sergio Marchionne," he said to Sky Sports.

"It has been a very sad and unexpected death and he was a strong leader, he loved what he was doing but his heart was with Ferrari and F1.

“He was so keen to have Ferrari at the top level and Ferrari is at the top level but little things were missing.

"Sometimes they had the best package, sometimes it did not happen and at the end of the day all was finalised at the second part of the season where Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes took the lead."

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